Healing the Mind
Self Compassion and Awareness
BY : T. Franklin Murphy | April 2015 (edited 9-27-2021)
We heal our minds through compassionate awareness. Gently examining, directing and improving our lives.
Exploring the dark corners of the soul is a journey not suited for the light of heart, searching through the discarded piles from the past, we find painful junk buried beneath the ego. I’m not getting Freudian here, well, not completely. Uncovering motivations pushing destructive behaviors is a big deal.
Adaptations certainly have a significant role in reactionary urges. You know, those nasty behaviors that continually interrupt hopes and dreams. Thoughtless act can destroy our lives; but instead of gaining wisdom from our momentous flops, we excuse the behavior with a handful of lame excuses. These are the relics of the past that destroy the present. We must get off this one way train to wreckage. We must proceed intelligently and carefully to heal our minds and improve our lives.
Fruitless searches into the past, seeking causes to blame, fail to create life changes. Painful ruminations of a runaway mind are detrimental. The endless searching busies our mind with the past, distracting attention from the present.
The present—the here and now—is the only time where we can improve the future. Discovering nexuses between the past and present does, however, benefit the seeker, when the knowledge is integrated into present action. With insight, we may suppress destructive impulses that hamper our lives and interfere with relationships.
Growth Oriented Reflection
The courageous journey of self-enlightenment does more than search histories to identify a scapegoat; but an intent to initiate personal change. When irritants from the past interrupt the present, we can catch their invasive meddling, retrieve any relevant wisdom and direct it towards a constructive action.
Bringing trauma back to the present has an emotional toll; distasteful memories are pushed out of the mind because they hurt to think about. Implicit memories remain, burrowed beneath the surface, and occasionally leaping to action.
We protect our mind from weighty memories, utilizing many tricks that soothe the moment. However, pleasant moments often skip essential healing. Our mind is dragged down by accumulating suppressions. Emotions intrude we choose not to understand. Life is weighty and existence is sorrowful. We need to heal our minds, moving back towards openness, knowledge and reality. Personal insights, although frightening and ferocious, clarify reality, freeing the mind from rigid or chaotic reactions. We must integrate past trauma into healthy presents.
“The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.”
Self Deprecating Thoughts
We build many protective barriers. We hide from truths that challenge and hurt. Our fragile self-confidence is bolstered with psychological mirrors and smoke. The face we show the world doesn’t accurately represent the broken heart beating underneath.
We often integrate our parents critical and harsh judgments into our minds. When we struggle, the demons come to life chastising, shaming, and punishing. Yes, only thoughts, but thoughts wield a destructive sword, slashing confidence and worth.
We put on a false face for the world, and magically we soon begin to believe the deception. Our real selves need compassion. the aching mind and weary soul need redemption from these silly games. We must break these self rejecting patterns, accept the reality of our being, giving kindness to the shame. Only through this path of awareness and self kindness and the maladies of our mind heal.
See Self-Deprecating for more on this topic
"Self-compassion is how we recover."
We use thought mechanisms to distort the truth, protecting against uncomfortable emotions. Skills that unveil the complex workings of our mind require practice. We must continually give compassionate acceptance. Patience and love with stubborn habits are necessary. Once we observe, accept and understand our underlying emotions, we can intervene when emotions run hot and motivate damaging behavior.
First, before we can heal our mind, we need to stop hurting it.
Growth Inhibiting Beliefs
Skilled self-exploration reveals false beliefs such as:
Skilled self-exploration also unearths nasty justifications such as:
Skilled self-exploration exposes magical thinking such as:
When enlightened, we make healthy connections between pasts, emotions, and repeated failures. We can work through bothersome disappointments, responding with constructive action.
An alignment with reality and corrective action begin a process of healing begins. Small changes in thoughts, feelings and behaviors begin to take hold, bolstering strength and renewing resolve.
We can’t give healing light to our hurts if the monsters from the past continue to haunt. Our harsh judging and criticizing of human blemishes, demanding immediate change thwart compassionate self-discovery. Personal insights remain hidden in the shadows, erecting impassible walls of protection.
We must be kind to ourselves, compassionately accepting the imperfections, and embracing that inner frightened child. This is the salve necessary to heal our mind.
Successful healing of the mind awaits those willing to travel down the road of personal discovery, rewarding the heroes and heroines with richness and joy. With our heads held up, we can face weakness, accept hurts and courageous confront harmful behaviors. From the frozen ground of the past, springs the tender shoot of a better life; joy returns and life flourishes. We only grow when the nasty irritations of self-hate subside and compassion reins.
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