by Jeff Duke, MSW, RSW
A lot has been happening in 2016.
Many people may be asking themselves, “What is going on in the world?”
It may seem like human beings have lost their way or are becoming more angry and cruel.
Being able to understand another person’s point of view without judgement can go a long way.
It helps to heal rifts and open up lines of communication to repair relational divides.
Easier said than done! One step to being able to hear a person with a different outlook from your own is to become more compassionate towards yourself. People who are able to give the most compassion, understanding, and respect to others are often those who have learned they are worthy of receiving these gifts. They’re also able to give these gifts to themselves.
About My Lunch
I was inspired to write this posting when I was thinking about the importance of being compassionate towards myself. Then, in the next moment, I proceeded to criticize myself for not remembering to thaw out my lunch. Finally, I gave myself permission not to be perfect.
It can be helpful in moments where you catch yourself being self-critical to bring your attention to whether the issue is truly worthy of the criticism. For example the, “Can’t you do anything right?” thoughts piling up in my head over the delay in having lunch was unnecessary and not compassionate towards myself.
Next, try to notice what physical sensations arise in you when you are self-critical. Try to be present with them until they dissipate on their own. This can allow you experience other more understanding thoughts towards yourself. “It’s not the end of the world, you can heat your lunch up.”
Over time, the more self-accepting and self-understanding you become, the more you will be able to bridge divides with people you disagree with. Those are some of the qualities that will be needed to heal the divisions and polarizations we see in the world today.
For people who struggle with being unnecessarily self-critical, counseling can be beneficial. I am here to help. Remember you are worthy of the love and respect that you desire.