Self-Compassion: Turning Self-Hate into Self-Love

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We were trained to be hard on ourselves, to reach for the stars and kick our own ass’s if we didn’t touch them. We normalized trash talk in sports, and looked our girlfriends up and down to make sure they were cool enough to be seen with us. We watched our weight, we watched our friend’s weight, and we persecuted ourselves if the scale tipped in the wrong direction. In school we either got great grades or flunked every class and we made certain that everyone knew how fantastic we were or that we were anarchist losers ready to take down the system, and when we slipped in our roles…well that’s when we were the hardest on ourselves.

Each year one in five students has thoughts of killing themselves, making suicide the number two cause of death among students age 15-24. Our children are suffering from test anxiety, eating disorders, self-harm, depression, and so much more. It’s time that we taught ourselves and our children to be kind to the person we’ve become. It’s time we chose kindness over toughness because none of us are tough enough to face the pressures of today without a lot of support and self-love.

Self-Compassion is not a new concept but it is being presented in a new way by Dr. Kristin Neff in her book, The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook. This is the single most effective self-help book I have ever read. All my negative self-talk is gone. I have to repeat that. All of my negative self-talk IS GONE! After years of not feeling thin enough, pretty enough, smart enough, good enough, worthy enough, outgoing enough, I now know that I am enough exactly as I am.

In the opening chapter Dr. Neff says, “Self-Compassion involves treating yourself the way you would treat a friend who is having a hard time.” It’s that simple. From there the book leads you through meaningful practices in mindfulness, releasing resistance, developing loving-kindness, and so much more. And if you’re worried that this may be one of those impossibly difficult to read books, it’s not. It reads like a child’s how to, on the proper care of a kitten. I think I loved that best about this book. It took the thing that tortures and kills us every day, our lack of self-worth, and it solved it with a practice so easy to follow that a child can understand it. Everything about Dr. Neff’s The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook, is loving, simple, and above all, compassionate.

We really don’t have a choice anymore. Our mental health impacts our physical health, our spiritual health and the overall health of our families and our community. As I travel through my own healing journey, I will share with you what has worked and what has not. For me, Dr. Neff’s The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook is a must read/must practice book to keep with you all your life. Share it with your family, share it with your friends, share it with the world. We only have one life in this body. Let’s live it with more love and Self-Compassion.

You are Strong. You are Worthy. You were made for these times.

I love you. Keep going. You got this.

Bring your Darkness to the light

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“If you bring forth what is within you,

what you bring forth will save you,

If you do not bring for what is within you,

what you do not bring forth will destroy you.

-The Gnostic Christ- Dead sea scrolls

Healing your stored trauma can be a scary undertaking. You have glimpses of what lays beneath the surface of your everyday life, but reaching down into the depths and grasping onto your painful past may be too much to bear. Healing is not for the weak. That’s why there are choices. You can stay in your disturbed normal, constantly triggered, depressed, plagued by nightmares and memories. You can smile through the pain and keep your nose to the grind stone. Or you can act out, making your pain everyone else’s pain, screaming in unwary people’s faces because they dare to wear the same kind of coat the man who raped you wore, or do their hair the way your violent mother did. Lastly, you can choose to dive deep and grasp onto your trauma and raise it into the light.

If you choose this last path, you are choosing healing, a release from pain and a path to self-discovery more beautiful than anything you could ever imagine. I have grasped this last path and I swear to you it is worth it. Your greatest hardship will probably be finding a good trauma therapist. I have yet to find one but have found that through meditation, talking to friends with trauma, and working with the 13 therapists I have gone through, I have gained an insight into what it is to drag your past into the light.

Begin with a trigger, sit down with the trigger and meditate on it. If you don’t know how to meditate learn on YouTube. Once you are able to sit with the trigger try to feel where it sits in the body. If this is too much, STOP! Some trauma cannot be processed alone. If you are managing to maintain self-mastery continue. Sit with the place where the trigger rests in the body and ask, how old was I when this happened, who was there, what happened, and finally, how can I release this. If it is a childhood trauma, comfort your little child, take the child away and take them to a safe place. I have a sacred place where my children recover until they are ready to reintegrate with me. This sacred place is a Disneyland of wonder watched over by angels.

We release trauma by crying and shaking it out, by coughing it up, by sobbing, by screaming into pillows, by journaling page after page as we feel and see what happened and offer it up to the light. Then share it in group, with your therapist, or if your lucky to have trauma informed friends, share it with them. What is done in the dark will come to the light-Genesis:4. And what you bring forth will save you- Gnostic Christ-Dead Sea Scrolls.

Healing takes time but the parts of you that will return are incredibly beautiful: Self-worth, creativity, righteous anger, adventure, emotional regulation, and so much more. If fear is what is standing in the way, remind yourself that fear is only the absence of faith. Faith in your creator to always have your back will unravel fear. Fear is not real. It only exists in the ego mind. You don’t need it. Choose faith and you will conquer fear, become fearless, step outside the power of the fearmongers, and become truly and completely you. YOU are the person you were meant to be. YOU are the person you have been waiting for. Dare greatly, live boldly, surrender your burdens to divinity, and reclaim your place on the world stage.

You are needed, you are wanted, you are deserving. Go forth and be great.

I love you.

Beautiful Object

Concept By Anonymous

The beautiful object waited quietly in the corner shop window. Someday she knew a collector would come and choose her from among all the other beautiful objects that sat around her. One harmonious day when the sun was glinting off her well polished surface she saw the collector she had been hoping for, the collector who had come to appreciate her, and choose her from among all the other beautiful objects. When he looked on her, when he chose her, when he took her home, she was filled with a shimmer that shined from the depths of her heart. Joy glowed out through her beautiful exterior illuminating her many miraculous colors.

The collect wrapped her carefully in paper and held her carefully in his arms as he carried her home. Once home he took her from the box and held her in his hands. He turned her over looking on her with pride and then placed her with love upon a shelf where he could see her always from anywhere in the room. The beautiful object was filled with joy to be so loved and appreciated and to have been chosen from among so many other beautiful objects.

The days pass, she was happy and he watched her from afar, moving through his day, through his life, seeing her from the corner of his eye, and smiling. Yes, she was a beautiful object, and she knew in her heart that he loved her and she loved him. But the days grew longer, she saw him less often, and dust begin to gather upon her beautiful exterior.

After what seemed like an eternity she heard his return and her heart lifted. In time he came to her and taking her gently in his hands he wiped the dust from her eyes, from her head, from her beautiful exterior, and held her so lovingly that once again she began to glow with joy, and hope, and love, and light. Then without ceremony he sat her down again upon the shelf.

A long time past before he touched her again. She grew sad and lonely on her self. She wanted to see him, to be held by him, to be touched by him, to have the dust washed from her eyes, and from her glowing exterior. She wanted to be beautiful, and to be bright, to be loved, but he was gone missing somewhere in the world. The dust grew thicker and thicker until she could no longer see the sunlight coming in the window and it could no longer pierce the filth that clung to her beautiful sides leaving her un-illuminated. And yet she longed for the moment when he remembered that she existed, for the moment when he came and dusted away the dust, and held her in the light, and loved her for her beauty, for her fine lines, and for the way she lit up when he looked on her.

One day he came home and he held under his arm a thing carefully wrapped in paper. The beautiful object could not see yet she heard the paper and she felt his appriciation through the dust, thought it was not directed at her. She felt him grow closer and her heart began to glow. She felt the light that would pour through her when he cleaned away the dust, when he held her in his hands, when they were once again reunited, and he appreciated her the way she deserve to be appreciated.

But when he came to her he pushed her aside and he placed before her a new and beautiful object. He did not take her from the shelf, he did not dust her, he did not clean the dirt away from her eyes, or hold her in his hands and appreciate her. instead his eyes were focused lovingly on the new beautiful object that glowed with sunshine and with light, basking in the warmth of his attention.

With time the beautiful object became completely blinded by the dust and debris of her life on the shelf and she even began to forget what it was to be held, to be touched, to be loved, to be looked at, and appreciated. She languished in blindness for many years. On the last day that she would spend with the collector who had shown her such love, she thought only of the memory of sunlight and the way she used to glow. She felt no hope, she felt no light, she felt no love, she only felt a sudden longing for movement forward toward something new, something unknown.

The movement came, the unknown followed. When the dust was finally washed from her eyes and the light again poured through her beautiful sides she found herself in a new place, held in new hands, dusted with new love. New eyes regarded her with great appreciation for her beauty, for her unique lines, for the special figure that she was. And her heart bloomed again as it had of old, and she felt love pouring through her, she felt light shimmering inside her, and she felt happiness pouring over her. Everyday the new collector held her, dusted her eyes and lifted her to the light mesmerized by the way the sunshine played through her miraculous colors. Once again, the beautiful object who had hoped, and wished, and longed, began to learn trust, certainty, and peace. And she learned that she had value not because of the joy she gave but because of the joy she felt inside herself when the light filled her and she remembered what it was to glow.

Glow on beloved brothers and sisters. You were born to be the light.