my battle with acceptance and compassion
During this pandemic, we are all just trying to put one foot in front of the other. Like I’ve written before, life is HARD. Parenting is HARD. Marriage is HARD. The hardest thing of all is having acceptance and compassion and not being hard on ourselves.
As an adult, I had the same feelings of sadness and anxiousness that I did from my childhood. I felt disgust that I felt scared about things, angry that things that came easier to others were so hard for me, and self-loathing that I couldn’t just let go of my feelings of sadness about my mother and about my childhood.
I tried all kinds of treatments, and implemented every suggestion and tool that they gave me, but my feelings never went away. The symptoms would not go away and I was desperate to figure out why. With each failed attempt I asked myself, “What is wrong with me?” and, “Will I ever get better?”
One day I was asked a question by a therapist that I had never been asked before. I was explaining how badly I felt that nothing I did ever worked. She looked at me and asked, “What if there is nothing wrong with you?” Say what? I was speechless. I had a list the size of my arm of things that were wrong with me. Why in the world would she say that?
the road to healing and compassion
I had endless compassion during my husband’s journey of sobriety. I felt nothing but compassion for my daughter and was her number 1 supporter and advocate. Furthermore, when she felt badly about herself because of her learning issues, I told her that she might learn in a different way, but that doesn’t define who she is a person . I reminded her that who she is as a person is what defines her. I even had compassion for my mother because her own mother had been abusive to her. Why in the world could I have compassion for everyone else, but I couldn’t give myself that same support and understanding?
giving ourselves permission to embrace our emotions
acceptance means loving all parts of yourself
Just as I told my daughter that she is defined by the person she is, I now understand that labels don’t define me. Who I am as a person is what defines me. I can show acceptance and compassion for my struggles and by doing so, leave space for healing. I have learned that not only am I okay with who I am, I am proud of who I am, flaws and all.
Acceptance means understanding who you are and why you are the way you are. It means understanding your struggles and showing love for ALL parts of yourself. What if the next time we feel shame or badly about ourselves, we ask ourselves how we would feel about someone else who had the same feelings or went through the same circumstances? I’m willing to bet that if it was the same circumstances happening to someone else, most times we would feel empathy and understanding for that person.
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