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The Power of Spooners
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I thought I might write a bit on the power of spooners. I've been hammering at this phrase "Jedi are beacons of Hope" since... ages... February actually. And stuff is beginning to come together a bit. Spooners are massive beacons of hope, and I just wanted to share with you why; because there are very often days when I feel a bit hopeless, and I imagine you might too.

There are quite a few things that I cannot or should not do at any given time. That ideal of flexibility that others hold is not something that I can actually emulate, and that can be so frustrating! What I have found I often have to dig into instead is the communication skills toolbox.

Again, the communication skills toolbox has it's own hard to access corners for me, which means I can't reach into it all the way - but if I can fully master those bits of the toolbox I can reach, then I believe my ability to spread joy and compassion in the lives of others is actually far greater; when we are able to accept and acknowledge those boundaries of ourselves as Spooners, explain them as fully as we are able to to others; we are then able to live with full dignity, and grace; and with a big smile to warm the hearts of others when they have come to meet ours.

People like to help; but I don't enjoy being helped always. That's been the hardest hurdle for me to acknowledge, accept, and overcome. Getting the communication right has helped me so much in taking the strain out of being helped. I can say more precisely what I need, and not more than what I need. "I need x amount of down time" not "Get lost! Everything hurts!". "I need you to write this down for me." not "What the heck is going on? I'm super confused!"... The bodhisattva ideal has helped me a lot in coming to this conclusion - they see no difference between the self and others - they have the same compassion for the self as they would for any other being - so it is just as acceptable for you to have a need as it would be for your child or a stranger or your spouse to have a need - and just as unacceptable for those needs not to be met. The other thing I've found really helpful is "I'm not sure what I need just yet, but I know it's not *that*. Can I have some time to think?"

So embracing being a spooner has actually been a real journey of compassion for me, one I'm still on, and will be on for a long time I imagine; but it's a nice thing to be able to access this model.
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  1. 11 months ago
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It takes a great deal of self-compassion to accept the "okay-ness" of thinking of one's own needs when dealing with chronic illness, but it's a lot like putting on one own oxygen mask on a plane first so that you can help others do the same.
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  1. 11 months ago
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I really hadn't drawn that parallel before, but I think you're right. Thank you.
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  1. 11 months ago
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I definitely need to learn to employ the "I don't know what I need, but I know what I don't need" thing. I've lately become silent about my struggles because I feel like I need to use the format "I feel A, and I need B" but very often I don't know what B is. Heck, sometimes I don't even know what A is.

There has to be some for just being with someone, without having to fix it or be working on it. I have a friend who's cersion of support is asking "how can I support you?" It's a lovely thought. It comes from a beautiful place. And I hate it. I don't know how she can support me and could she please stop asking lol
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  1. 11 months ago
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My mother always asks "what can I do to help?" and I always respond with "you just did", because I may not yet know what I need, but knowing someone cares at least eases my mind. And the fact she's a Spoonie too makes the fact that she even asks an extraordinary act of love, so I always ask the same, to the same response incidentally.
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