Learning To Have Compassion With Oneself……
A couple of weeks ago I gave presentation to a grade 11 psychology class at one of the local high schools. They were a great group of kids and there were also people I know from golf, dragon boating and ringette, my retired psychiatrist and his wife as well as a few people I didn’t know and a reporter from one of the local papers.
The presentation went well. At first I was a little nervous- like I usually am, but after a minute or two, I was fine and away I went. The audience were very attentive, were able to ask me questions throughout the presentation and I always leave time at the end for more questions. Boy were they good questions!
One of the best questions was “Do you remember doing bad things?”
I didn’t get into what the person thought was “bad” but I did tell him this.
Yes, I have done things in the past that I am not very proud of. Since I have huge blanks of nothing in my memory I’m sure I did some things during those times that I am not very proud of either. But through therapy I have looked at and now understand why I did those things- or why my persons did them- I needed to accept the responsibility that it was me- persona or not- and I have had to come to terms with them. It was not easy but that is all part of the healing journey.
I needed to learn to have compassion for myself and my persona's. I could have tons of compassion for others but I had a huge “cognitive error” when it came to forgiving myself. This is a huge chunk of the work and even now there are times where I “bump up against” this and times where I need to be reminded to be compassionate with myself.
I am not, nor will I ever be perfect. All I can do is try my best and be the best that I can be, and I hope that’s the message I gave the class. Learning compassion for one self can be a really hard thing to do and may take a lot of work but it can be so liberating. Once we learn to forgive ourselves and give ourselves loving compassion, it gets rid of all the fear and shame we have been carrying around and that allows us freedom to be who we really are.
Two days ago I received a lovely card from the teacher and kids of that class. The teacher and students wrote very touching and lovely comments but the most powerful comment was from one young person who wrote …
.."Suzy, Thank you for shedding light on mental illness in a more reliable way and I admire you. You gave me hope for the future and getting better."......
Needless to say I was blown away by this.
I hope my blogs help others and inspire them to know that it can get better. I hope others learn to give themselves loving kindness, because giving oneself compassion is one of the most powerful tools we can have to get better and moving forward.
For those of you who are having trouble doing this, let’s start it out by allowing me to give you loving kindness, forgiveness and compassion, and I will send you more to use for a time you need it. And when you need more come back and read this post. Like I use to tell my daycare kids, I can never run out of hugs to give them, because the more I give the more I make. This also goes for loving kindness, forgiveness and compassion.
Be easy on yourselves…
Until next time