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Honest Coping

The Logical Heart Knows Best

It was so nice to reach a higher temperature today so we could stop dripping the pipes. I get paranoid that one time I’ll forget and turn the water completely off and worry that the pipes will burst. I’m thankful we have fewer faucets in this apartment 🙂

Today I made a huge stew. It was so much fun. I pretended I was a witch/hobbit/ fairy making a potion stew in my little cottage deep in the snowy forest. It turned out yummy and I’m freezing some for later. Nice meals for cold wintry days.

It has potato, carrot, corn, sweet potato, butternut squash, onions, garlic, spices, herbs, bay leaves, Bella mushrooms and green onion, nom nom nom.

Here’s the video for today.

Once I learned how to shift my thoughts and achieve inner stability, it was easier for me to handle the extra stress. I got great at maintaining a steady level of inner peace, calm, and imperturbability. This is a useful skill, but sometimes it can lead to bypassing, making excuses for others’ poor behavior, being too tolerant, ignoring objective factual reality, and accepting of toxicity to the point of self-sabotage.

That’s when it’s important to check in with ourselves, keep completely honest, and evaluate the boundaries very closely. It’s easy for caring, empathetic giving people to err on the side of being compassionate of others while losing sight of compassion for themselves. They may become too tolerant and forgiving at the expense of themselves by enduring a more stressful and toxic environment than is fair to them.

Just because one can cope with high levels of stress and drama doesn’t mean one should. It’s easy for us to believe we are doing what’s beneficial when, in fact, we are being over-giving and subjecting ourselves to needless strife.

Thankfully, if we’re mindful and listening, dutifully checking in with ourselves, our logical hearts will keep nudging us gently and persistently in the right direction.

It’s difficult for kind-hearted people to enforce boundaries that may hurt others’ feelings, but does it make sense to stay in a situation that is not ideal for us? Why sacrifice ourselves? That doesn’t really make sense. We need to include ourselves in our love and compassion. What about our feelings? What about our well-being?

We make excuses for others, telling ourselves all the reasons the toxicity is because they can’t help it. They’ve had a hard life. They have so many other wonderful qualities. Why not focus on all the positive and overlook the negative. This is a solid way of looking at it if indeed the positive far outweighs the negative, so we have to be brutally honest when making this evaluation. It’s easy to convince ourselves that we’re fine with it and double down on those positive coping skills to trick us into believing it’s okay.

In my experience, eventually, the truth prevails and we get to choose what’s most loving of us. Sometimes we do indeed have to hurt others’ feelings in order to do what’s right for us. There’s no way around it and it’s also difficult and painful for us, but why prolong and suffer a situation that is no longer a good fit for us?

If we’re having to rely excessively on our coping skills, then maybe we need to question if a situation is unhealthier for us than we realize.

Michelle Miyagi
Hi! I was an RN, BSN in mental/behavioral health for 27 years. Now I'm helping empower caring people like me to prioritize themselves by maintaining healthier boundaries for more freedom, peace, and joy. I am also active in Long Covid advocacy.

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