Until you’ve given up life, you won’t unite with the supreme soul
Until you’ve found fire inside yourself, like the Friend,
You won’t reach the spring of life.
Last week I came out of the closet with my post: Let The Truth be Known: I Suffer from Depression I acknowledge the myths about depression seeking to help those who do not suffer from this mental illness understand just a bit more, and to furthermore relate to those who do. The same day, I noticed this post opened doors to many of you who have had depression or are still fighting it.. writing letters and comments which warmed my heart. To you I say thanks!
This week I want to talk about the beacon which keeps me on top of things. The little light inside me which flickers the fire to stay focused on my healing. It is not easy, at times, when I wake up at 4am in sheer panic, like I did this week, wondering what the hell is happening? The wheels of life start turning so fast in my brain that I cannot fall back to sleep… It is quite scary.
However, I am reminded of how a mother loves her child. Being so close to my mother and my children, I realized this week, if only I can love myself like mom loves me, or how I love my children. So I set out to find words of comfort when I feel like the world is spinning. I ask myself “What would my mom say to me now?” or “What would I be telling my children?”
While researching this post, I found an article online: Self-Compassion: Treating Yourself As You’d Treat a Good Friend by Kristen Neff. She defines self compassion (after studying Buddhist writings) as: kindness, common humanity and mindfulness.
- Self-kindness refers to the tendency to be supportive and understanding with ourselves rather than harshly critical or judgmental. Instead of tearing ourselves to shreds when we fail or make a mistake, we soothe and comfort ourselves, providing the caring concern needed to try again.
- Common humanity involves recognizing that all humans are imperfect. It allows us to connect our own flawed condition to the shared human condition so that we can have a greater perspective on our personal shortcomings and difficulties.
- Mindfulness can be defined as the clear seeing and acceptance of what is occurring in the present moment. It involves being aware of one’s painful feelings in a balanced manner so that one neither ignores nor exaggerates personal suffering.
These 3 self-care tools are what I have implemented in my healing, along with therapy, medication and support.
These things often shed light on the situation I am going through and help me stay grounded in my personal space. So when I am having a panic attack, instead of trying to run away from it, which is often the case during panic attacks, I first drink a very tall cold glass of water (something my mom would tell me to do), then I speak to myself in ways that are soothing: ie: “You’re ok!! This too shall pass”. I may also reach out on the phone or online to seek support during the crisis, and then stay grounded by following mindfulness techniques like meditating on my feet!! Feeling my feet on the ground, really helps me regain consciousness during an attack!
I have plenty of self-care tools to run too, thus I think its important for those suffering from depression to seek out those beacons of light to help in the healing process. We are not alone!
Concluding today’s post, Kristen Neff writes:
“…the more you’re able to admit the pain of being a limited human being and accept this fact with kindness and equanimity, the more you’ll be able to heal your pain. By soothing and comforting yourself, just as a caring mother soothes and comforts her child when he or she is hurt, you will be able to rebound from setbacks more quickly. You will have the emotional resources needed to take on new challenges and reach your full potential. Beating yourself up doesn’t help anyone — least of all yourself.”
I totally agree! This is new for me too.. so the next time you are so bummed out your body is riddled with fear? What mothering technique could you do to self-comfort in a loving way?
Note: You can find more information on the writings of Kristen Neff by following the link to her site: www.self-compassion.org she has written a book entitled: Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind
Blessings of love,