ACT, its best friend COMPASSION, and THE REAL THING

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE of inspirational quotes, poems and other act goodies!
And introducing COMPASSION, ACT’s best friend!

Q: Why is it so important to do the real thing?

A: Because if you don’t you are only play acting. You’ll be hollow at your core.

It’s not easy saying no, especially if we’re used to saying yes.  It’s not easy disappointing people, especially if we are people-pleasers. It’s not easy upsetting someone, especially if we crave their approval. It’s not easy, but sometimes it’s essential.

It is not good for us to constantly put our own wishes, needs, desires on the back-burner. It’s not good for us to automatically put other people’s priorities before our own. It’s not good for us to quickly consign our own plans to the bottom of the heap just because someone else implies theirs are more important. None of this is good for us, for our sense of self worth.

What message are we sending to ourselves when we say that what we want is not important, what we like doing is insignificant, what matters to us is not worth prioritising?

We do teach other people how to treat us. If we are always ready to let their needs over-ride our own, we should not be surprised if they don’t think our needs are important. If we don’t value them, why should anyone else?

We all have things that matter to us, really matter. These are the things that make us feel right, at ease with ourselves, in harmony with our deepest being. These are not things to trivialise, to treat with disrespect. These are the things that for us are the real thing. Of course our real thing won’t matter to someone else. Why should it? They have their own real thing to bother about.

The trouble is that when we don’t do what matters to us, when we neglect the things that make us feel alive, we will pay a price. We will feel jittery and dis-satisfied inside because we are not feeding ourselves what we need.

Some of us may have spent so much time pleasing others that we’re not at all sure what really pleases us. If this is the case then it’s high time that we found out. We owe it to ourselves to do the real thing, and to do it more often. When we do this we feel good inside, and then we have more to give away. We can’t pour from an empty cup.

And don’t let’s beat ourselves up about any of this. Let’s treat ourselves with the same compassion that many of us spend a lot of time dishing out to others. Treating ourselves well does not mean treating everyone else badly. Not at all. Everyone’s a winner when we are doing the real thing, when we are being authentic. When we feel good inside then we have more of that goodness to give away.

I wrote “EVERYONE’S A WINNER” to remind me of that.


  • How do you make time to do the real thing, to do what matters to you?
  • Is authenticity something you value in your own life?
  • What can you share that might be of help to others?

Please leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.




Committing to the real thing, now that can be rather hard,

To discard the easy options and the real thing to safe-guard,

As we ward off all intruders who would steal our energy,

And be determined that usurpers will be seen off finally.

There is no-one to protect it, so it’s we who must be strong,

Be resistant to time-snatchers, and tell them to move along,

For though the real thing is essential for our peace and happiness,

It is a bother to the others who want more from us not less.

And so, let’s not be easy pickings for the ones who would prefer

That we set aside the real thing as to their wants we defer,

For though it may not seem important to distinguish yours and mine

It will be too late complaining if you rise as we decline.

And there’ll be time enough for sharing and for comforting and more,

But if we neglect the real thing we’ll be hollow at our core,

And no amount of substitution or addressing other’s needs

Will compensate us for the real thing as it bit by bit recedes.

And so, let’s not be slow to woo it, nor to keep it close at hand,

For when we spend time with the real thing then we come to understand

That when we’re satisfied inside us there is no room for dismay,

And everyone’s a winner when we’ve more to give away.

© Corinne Shields, 2019

If you enjoyed “EVERYONE’S A WINNER” 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 ……..

Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) puts enormous store by authenticity. Values work is one of its core principles. When we discover what our values are and use them as our guide, then we are on the road to living an authentic life. A value-driven life will mean that we will be doing the real thing more often, and when we’re not we will have a yardstick to measure by.

On a personal note, doing my real thing means spending regular time writing. I try to post weekly. It’s good for me. It helps me to focus on things that matter to me, and I hope others enjoy reading what I write.

And, of course, I am writing my book, or books if things go according to plan. This plan, such as it is, won’t come to much if I don’t stay committed. This is why ACT is important to me. ACT is about accepting things we can’t change but it is about committing to things that we can, things that are important and reflect our values.

So, I plod on, doing a bit each day, and in time, not too long I hope, I will have something concrete to show for it.

Progress this week has included changing the title and the proposed cover for the book. In the last post I shared the working title:

Now I’ve changed my mind. It is, after all, just like me, a work in progress.

And I’ve finished writing the book!! So, progress is being made. And, perhaps more importantly, when I am involved in it I feel I am doing the real thing!!!!

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

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