Start with Compassion
Tame harshness; love the self; invite change
BY: Troy Murphy |July 2018
Compassionate acceptance of self creates a comforting platform for growth. Once we accept flaws, shortcomings and weaknesses, as well as notice strengths, sensitivities and passions, we open to information, otherwise defensively resisted, essential for growth. Harsh and critical attacks on our worth, especially when living inside of our mind, hurt. Instead of whipping the self into correction from these thoughts, the self cowers from the mean judgment and begins to defensively deny reality. Harsh self-judgments are unbearable to the sense of self. We seek escape. No improved action corrects the onslaught of oppressive self thoughts. Instead, peace of mind is sought through escapisms. We begin to protect through a string of mechanisms adapted to avoid detection of fault. We invite projections, justifications and denials into our mental processes. Estranged from reality we stagnate growth, begging for acceptance but dodging responsibility.
We all adapt to the circumstances of life. We must learn to navigate the pain. We must sort through the sorrows. We must find avenues to squelch the fear. We must learn effective responses to shame and responses to guilt. The emotions of life are flags, warning something needs attention. As wonderful as the evolving brain is, it still can adopt unhealthy responses to adverse emotions. We may temporarily soothe a discomfort; but fail to improve our lives. Immediate relief rewards the response, marking the unhealthy adaptation as an appropriate road to follow. But these dead-end alleys eventually disappoint, leaving our lives with bigger problems to resolve.
Unhealthy adaptations repel closeness to others. Our ingenuine relationship with the self is also mirrored by deceitful relationships with others. Sadly, the protections we have integrated to avoid hurt deter healing only possible through closeness with others. We get lost in this damaging vortex of deceit and damage.
We need others. We need a flow of positive regard, comforting our broken hearts. This flow can spring from many origins. Sometimes a professional, skilled in the interpersonal therapy, provides the non-judgmental acceptance we crave. Other times, we may find the help through the kindness of support groups, enmeshed in similar conflicts. Lovers also can be a constant in our lives. However, a lover is heavily invested, and sometimes their emotions and needs collide, and shaking the security we desperately need.
"Sadly, the protections we have integrated to avoid hurt deter healing only possible through closeness with others. We get lost in this damaging vortex of deceit and damage."
We should seek these outside sources to assist in recovery; but another source of compassion is also essential. We must also nurture positive self-regard, loosening the demeaning and harsh judgments from ourselves. It is difficult to establish loving relationships without when hatred lives within. The seething evil continual poisons all interactions, rejecting opportunities and perverting others attempts of kindness and support. We must start with self-compassion, continually work on self-compassion, and end with self-compassion.
Only when we compassionately accept ourselves, can we warmly invite others into our lives.
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