A growing body of research… suggest that self-compassion, rather than self-esteem, may be the key to unlocking your true potential for greatness. Self-compassion is a willingness to look at your own mistakes and shortcomings with kindness and understanding – it’s embracing the fact that to err is indeed human. When you are self-compassionate in the face of difficulty, you neither judge yourself harshly, nor feel the need to defensively focus on all your awesome qualities to protect your ego. It’s not surprising that self-compassion leads, as many studies show, to higher levels of personal well-being, optimism and happiness and to less anxiety and depression. People who experienced self-compassion were more likely to see their weaknesses as changeable. Self-compassion – far from taking them off the hook – actually increased their motivation to improve and avoid the same mistake again in the future. Why is self-compassion so powerful? In large part, because it is non-evaluative – in other words, your ego is effectively out of the picture – you can confront your flaws and foibles head on. You can get a realistic sense of your abilities and your actions, and figure out what needs to be done differently next time. When your focus is instead on protecting your self-esteem, you can’t afford to really look at yourself honestly. You can’t acknowledge the need for improvement, because it means acknowledging weaknesses and shortcomings – threats to self-esteem that create feelings of anxiety and depression. Here’s an unavoidable truth: You are going to screw up. Everyone – including very successful people – makes boatloads of mistakes. The key to success is, as everyone knows, to learn from those mistakes and keep moving forward. But not everyone knows how. Self-compassion is the how you’ve been looking for. So please, give yourself a break. Taken from “Forget Self-Esteem” by Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-science-success/201209/forget-self-esteem
If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way
that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long
would you allow that person to be your friend?
There are many theories on why people have trouble showing affection, and also cultural studies on how different groups show affection. Some theories suggest that such gestures of affection are often determined by our degree of nurturance as children.. In families or cultures where affection is common, people will more commonly show affection. Others also suggest a gender difference, especially in many Western cultures, between showing affection to boys and girls. Girls may receive more affection than boys, especially when they are emotionally distressed. Boys, alternately, may be told when they seek affection, such as when they are injured, to toughen up. Even though we think we’ve shed these gender differences, evidence to the contrary is available in a variety of studies; we are still harder on boys. This can matter a lot when boys and girls grow up, because girls will expect a higher degree of affection than boys, who have been nurtured to give less. Women will claim their husbands have trouble showing affection, and men may actually complain that their wives show too much. There are other reasons why people may have difficulty showing affection. People who have experienced sexual or physical abuse may find it very difficult to receive or give affection, even very simple things like a caress or hug. For these folks, touching itself has become a violation of self, and they don’t want to receive touching, or give it and possibly be considered as abusers too. More simply, some children are just less acclimatized to affection than others. Parents can love their children but have trouble showing affection to each other or to children. http://www.wisegeek.org/why-do-some-people-have-trouble-showing-affection.htm
Do not be afraid of showing your affection.
Be warm and tender, thoughtful and affectionate.
Men are more helped by sympathy, than by service;
love is more than money, and a kind word
will give more pleasure than a present.
There is a profound connection between writing and healing. Dr.James Pennebaker of the University of Texas, after considerable research, explained in his book, Opening Up: The Healing Power of Expressing Emotions, that excessive holding back of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors can place people at risk for both major and minor diseases. More than simply a catharsis or venting, translating events into language can affect brain and immune functions. The subjects he tested had an increase in germ-fighting lymphocytes in their blood and lower stress levels. Writing was found to reduce anxiety and depression, improve grades in college, and aid people in finding jobs. He also reported that months after people had written about traumas over 70% reported that writing helped them to understand both the event and themselves better. Writing provides a means to externalize traumatic experience and therefore render it less overwhelming. At the same time, as the upsetting experience is repeatedly confronted, the emotional reactivity one feels as s/he assesses its meaning and impact is weakened. Once organized, traumatic events become smaller and smaller and therefore easier to deal with. Having distilled complex experiences into more understandable packages, survivors can begin to move beyond trauma because the process of writing about it provides a means for the experience to become psychologically complete, therefore there’s no more reason to ruminate about it. But not just any kind of writing will do. Dr.Pennebaker explains that the more writing succeeds as narrative – by being detailed, organized, compelling, vivid, and lucid – the more health and emotional benefits are derived. Likewise, over time, the work of inhibiting traumatic narratives and feelings acts as an ongoing stressor and gradually undermines the body’s defenses. By Catherine McCall, MS, LMFT http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/overcoming-child-abuse/201209/how-and-why-writing-heals-wounds-child-abuse
A journal is a tool for self-discovery,
an aid to concentration, a mirror for the soul,
a place to generate and capture ideas,
a safety valve for the emotions,
a training ground for the writer,
and a good friend and confident.
“You made me feel…” “I feel angry when you do…” Is it possible that I have that much power over you to cause your body to react to what I do or say? What you feel is about you. When you are with someone, you may think they make you feel a certain way. When you say that others make you feel a certain way, you give away your power to some outside force. You blame another for what you feel and how you think. The reality is that no one can make you feel anything. YOU are responsible for your emotions – and for what you DO with those emotions. Your thoughts (about an event, what someone does, etc.) trigger a neurological response that sends chemicals through your brain which then causes an emotional response. And it is this emotional response that we act upon. These are often called “emotional buttons”. Often our emotional responses are so intense and have been repeated so often that they have become ‘habits’ which means that every time that trigger occurs – someone raises their voice, uses a certain tone, behaves in a particular way – this neurological reaction occurs automatically and without your conscious awareness. And your behavioral response occurs automatically too, which means you may behave in ways you’re not proud of but feel as though you cannot control it. The emotional response occurs, triggering the behavioral response, and you play out this dynamic that becomes a ‘way of being’. You think this is just who you are. But it’s not; it’s how you behave. Julie Donley, RN http://nurturingyoursuccessblog.com/your-emotions-are-your-responsibility/
No one makes you feel anything.
It is how you react and respond
that determines your emotions.
There are far less things I do now which end up as sizeable regrets. When there is something regrettable, it is usually smaller with lesser pangs of guilt than before. Sometimes it is because I have grown to see my tendencies more clearly and with that knowledge am able to avoid repeating past mistakes. At other times it is a feeling of regretfulness for what I have done in the past that are the road markers keeping me out of the ditches. Wisdom came when I could allow the lessons of what was behind me to be a guide in the present. Instead of seeing old transgressions as only actions to regret and try to forget, I came to see how the past is helpful in lighting the path forward. At first it felt very strange to find gratitude for the bygone errors. However, once thankfulness came not for the deeds, but for the lessons learned, my life became better. It was then hope began to arrive in greater quantity than I had ever previously allowed myself.
One must always maintain one’s connection to the past
and yet ceaselessly pull away from it.
Someone once said that codependency is needing others so much that a codependent becomes too afraid of losing someone to ask for what he wants. Or else, if I do ask for what I need a person may not be able to give it to me or choose not to. Simply asking to have my needs and wants met was a huge step and to this day presents a giant challenge. As a child I was taught to “shut up and be quiet” and that the desires of a kid did not matter. Things like being ignored when I had a horrible toothache and begged to go to the dentist taught formative dysfuction which followed me into adult life. Even though I have learned to ask to have my needs met by others (sometimes), I often feel guilty when I do. Even something as simple as asking a friend to help me my piano around is something I hesitate doing. Somehow it feels like I am being a burden if I ask. When I do manage to ask for and get help, it is empowering. As a recovering codependent I will always be one who jumps up too quickly to help others or give advice, but too slowly getting around to asking to have my needs and wants met. Doing a little better, a little at a time, is a rewarding struggle.
If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it.
If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.
If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.
Going far beyond what is expected to be good, helpful and caring the majority of the time does not make up for indiscretions some of the time. Cheating within a committed relationship is wrong, no matter how many things you do to make up for it. Being emotionally abusive, or worse yet, physically abusive can not be compensated for. A basket of ‘rights’ does not make up for a ‘wrong’. The only possible way to save a troubled relationship if you are the cheater or abuser, is to make lasting change, correct your ways and then ask for forgiveness. It may be too late, but you won’t know unless you try.
When people are ready to, they change.
They never do it before then,
and sometimes they die before they get around to it.
You can’t make them change if they don’t want to,
just like when they do want to, you can’t stop them.