In our effort to find recovery for ourselves, there are some challenges that are significant. It is normal that our experience up to this point has been filled with things that make us afraid. Fear can come from many places. Many of these fears make it hard for us to accept ourselves and our challenges. This type of fear can make it very hard to accept things as they are. They can make it difficult to accept ourselves in a loving manner.
Without loving ourselves in this way it is likely that we will never make progress in our recovery. Compassion for yourself will allow you to see your disease openly. It helps to remove the significant barriers that your ego places before change. With the power of a compassionate point of view we can look at those things that have hurt us. It helps us to accept that we have a disease. It also helps you to see the impact of your disease on those around you in a new way.
In the course of my mental illness I came to the realization that having a mental illness strikes deeper than just the mind. It becomes an affliction of the heart. The years of suffering dig deep within us and can eat us alive. These wounds are so tender that without the mechanisms of compassion we are not able to grow. Abraham Maslow suggests in Toward a Psychology of Being , that emotional maturity requires a mind that does not judge, is self-forgiving and includes a loving acceptance of self and Atlanta Partial Hospitalization Program. Sometimes this can seem difficult to view ourselves in this light.
In doing my research I looked to see what various publications had to say about self-compassion and how one might empower themselves to accept themselves in this light. I would love to give you a simple light switch method which enables you to instantly be self-compassionate.
Atlanta Partial Hospitalization Program and Self-compassion is a lifelong process
There are many days with pain that cloud this perspective. We find that as we watch our pain then we start to understand it, the pain becomes instructive. This instruction is part of our learning in self-compassion. To be able to openly look at those things that imbibe us with suffering becomes transmuted into the power to overcome the death grip that is associated with our pain. It can free us from ruminating in pity for ourselves and can free our body, mind, and spirit.
What is self-compassion? The literal definition of compassion means “to suffer with”. Having compassion for yourself means that you have to recognize your suffering. You must look at this suffering in a kind and loving way. We have to allow ourselves to look at our disease openly and honestly. Our egos have been trained by our experience. Often this experience is derived from our process of becoming a social being. We get used to hearing that outside voice that tells us where we might not be good enough in another person’s point of view. We tend to believe whatever these outside voices tell us and take this to heart. This guilt, shame, blame and condemnation will kill our sense of self worth.
Self-compassion is a concept that is deeper than just your self-esteem. A bully can feel pretty good about beating someone else up. A person may think so highly of themselves that they can see nothing but their wants and desires. To make progress in recovery you must be able to see yourself clearly. You must forgo the judgments and condemnation. View yourself in a warm and accepting manner. We have to accept that in this process of recovery there will be bad days. There will be pain. Self-compassion will help us to accept the way things are now and give us perspective on how to change for the future.
According to Karen Neff PhD, an associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin, self-compassion has three main components. The first part is self-kindness. Self-kindness allows us to look at our failings and suffering with a gentle perspective and helps us to understand that bad things happen to good people. With self-kindness we are equipped to deal with the self-hatred and judgment we face. We can allow ourselves both the mistakes of the past and those of the present.
The next part of self-compassion is to realize our common humanity. All of us have had struggles, suffering and pain. When you realize that everyone experiences these things it helps us to understand not only that it is OK for us to have issues but that others around us may have some too. It breaks down the feeling that you are the only one with a problem. It helps us to be less isolated in our pain. We find that we are less judgmental about ourselves and others.