The other day, I was talking to my dad when I was having a moment of intense self-criticism about some basic life-admin thing I’d failed to do.

He reflected back about the show I have just finished doing at the Edinburgh Fringe “Alex Owen-Hill Asks Himself ‘Is It ADHD?'”

“You created such a loving environment and gave so much love and acceptance to the audience.” he said.

(or words to that effect)

He’s right.

I can see that the environment I created in my show was one of great acceptance. As I’d intended with my ADHD show, I somehow managed to create a very supportive, caring environment.

Various people left my show having both cried and laughed… as I had provided a place where they felt accepted for the wonderfully messy people their neurodiversity made them.

I recognize that I created that space for people to accept things about themselves that they have fought for their entire lives …

So why can’t I be that accepting for myself?

Even in the midst of me doing the show.

Even as people left the show telling me how much they appreciated it.

Even though I was telling people to accept those messy parts of themselves…

… I still don’t seem to have taken that on for myself.

I believe that other people should be kind and compassionate towards their “failings”, but apparently I don’t believe that I deserve similar compassion myself.

As I always have done, I continually berate myself for my “failures” and for the “mistakes” that I make (particularly those related to social interaction and dynamics).

I suppose this pattern is quite common.

People become counsellors, for example, often because they have issues themselves that they need to work through.

Broken people can help broken people far more effectively than those people who have their lives all sorted.

Now, if only I could start to take my own advice and be more compassionate to myself.

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