Life can feel hard, can’t it?
Sometimes this is due to difficulties we experience in our own lives:
- work stresses
- relationship or family difficulties
- difficult memories from the past
- our own health concerns
Or it can feel hard when we look at suffering in the world around us:
- natural disasters
- politics we don’t agree with
Or, even by acknowledging our own mortality.
So, what can we do, when these thoughts and concerns feel like they are intruding into our lives and upsetting our sense of equilibrium
Sometimes it is important that we do face these difficult thoughts, and
- not run away from them
- not ignore them
- not fight them
- not block them off
But this can be easier said than done ….
Understanding our need to block-off, run away from, ignore or fight our thoughts, is perhaps the place to start:
- it made sense, as a child, to respond to pain in a certain way
- our learned wisdom can help us to question our old responses, however.
- we can apply wisdom, and develop new responses to pain
Wisdom enables us to see our responses are learned from an early age, and are therefore not our fault.
We can re-learn old responses and stop blaming/criticising/judging ourselves for the responses which are not our fault in the first place.
How often have you caught yourself saying
- ‘I shouldn’t feel like this?’
- ‘if only I’d tried harder!’
- ‘What a stupid thing to do!’
By looking at things from a different perspective, we can start to let ourselves off the hook.
Once we can stop blaming ourselves, we make room for COMPASSION.
So, next time you are finding yourself drifting towards negative thoughts:
- notice this happening
- resist the temptation to move away from the thoughts
- become aware of your response – are you trying to move away, block, ignore or fight the thoughts?
Once you have done this a few times, you are ready to move on to the next step of offering yourself compassion.
I will be exploring more about self-compassion in my next blog post.
If you are interested in exploring more about your own thought patterns and tendencies, and ways in which you can learn to change old responses, counselling can be a place where we can work on this. Please feel free to get in touch and find out out more, by clicking the link below: