ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE of inspirational quotes, poems and other act goodies!
And introducing COMPASSION, ACT’s best friend!
Q: Who can I turn to when everyone and everything else lets me down?
A: Yourself. Become your own best friend.
When things go wrong, when we are hurting, it is a natural reaction to look for comfort in externals. We have been taught to do it from the beginning. As babies we cried and somebody from outside came to comfort us, when we fell down as toddlers, somebody else picked us up, dried our tears and set us on our way again. As we got older we looked for support within our immediate family, and as we got older still we learned to look further afield for approval, affection and backing.
This isn’t wrong, it is just the way things are, it is what we have learned to do. Problems can arise though if we don’t find what we need in externals. Sometimes people aren’t there for us, sometimes things that used to give us pleasure begin to pall, sometimes the externals just don’t work. What to do?
Well, for many of us, although we are very good at giving compassion, kindness and support to other people, we are less good at giving it to ourselves. Self compassion can have a bad press. It can smack of self indulgence, weakness even. Maybe we have grown up in backgrounds that didn’t encourage it, maybe positively discouraged it. Maybe we grew up in backgrounds where we received precious little compassion from others, and certainly weren’t taught how to give it to ourselves.
This is a shame. If we learn how to offer compassion to ourselves then we won’t be so dependent on externals to give it to us instead. If we learn how to speak kindly to ourselves instead of berating ourselves for our last seeming foolishness, then our internal landscape will start to change. The world we inhabit inside will become a much pleasanter place to be. When we treat ourselves as we would a good friend, when we begin to become our own best friend, our lives can change radically for the better.
It’s official. Whether we are giving it to others or giving it to ourselves, Compassion is good for you.
I wrote “BEING OUR OWN BEST FRIEND” to remind me of that.
HOW ABOUT YOU?
- How do you treat yourself when things are going badly?
- Are you learning to treat yourself more gently, more kindly?
- What can you share that might be of help to others?
Please leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.
THOUGHT FOR TODAY
POEM FOR TODAY
BEING OUR OWN BEST FRIEND
To learn to be our own best friend, oh what a gift ‘twill be,
To develop loving kindness, treat ourselves compassionately,
And to still the voice of judgement ringing shrilly in our ears,
And to breathe into our essence until gentleness appears.
Oh, how lovely to feel peaceful, to accept life as a flow
That can move through unimpeded if we learn to just let go
And accept the present moment, without judgement, without flaw,
Saying, “This is how it is now, and I could not ask for more.”
There’s a freedom in acceptance, there’s a lightening of the load,
When we treat ourselves more gently we are in a different mode
Where our tension’s disappearing as a softness takes its place,
And the whispers of compassion start to fill our inner space.
Oh, let’s not become too tardy, too reluctant to kickstart
All the gifts that self-compassion has to lift a heavy heart,
For we do not need externals to bring us comfort and ease,
We have all we need within us to a cold heart now unfreeze.
So, let’s speak with words of kindness, let us use a gentle tone,
And remind ourselves we’re human and we never are alone,
For we all share in the suffering humanity must bear,
If we look around we’ll see that there is suffering everywhere.
And that’s not to make it burdensome, more awful, more severe,
It just acts as a reminder, others feel what we feel here,
And our suffering’s not just personal, it treats us all the same,
And if we would seek an antidote, compassion is its name.
© Corinne Shields, 2018
If you enjoyed “BEING OUR OWN BEST FRIEND” please pass it on, and do leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.
And just before you go …..
A final word from ACT, and its best friend COMPASSION ……..
Self Compassion is not weak, wishy-washy, narcissistic, self indulgent. It is none of these things. Self Compassion requires courage, awareness, commitment and trust. If we want to become our own best friend that is not going to happen overnight. Friendships don’t just happen they develop, they develop over time and they develop as a result of shared history, shared experiences, shared compassion.
If you want to learn more about Self Compassion there are many resources on line and one in particular is becoming a life-line for me. Kristin Neff’s website at selfcompassion.org has guided meditations which have helped me many times. Check it our for yourself. It is good to know that there is an alternative to a sleepless night!! The Self Compassion Break only takes 5 minutes and that 5 minutes can make a big difference.
How about YOU?
What can YOU do just for today to ACTivate your life? What can YOU do just for today to add some Compassion, some Kindness, into your life?
Just for today I will ………………………
If you have read this far, please do leave your comments. How is ACT helping you? Is Compassion part of your life?
I am a student of ACT, I am learning about Compassion. I am on a journey. I would love you to join me.
With all good wishes