Befriending Ourselves – how to be more compassionate with ourselves

Our inner critic is loud and bossy. Have you ever stopped to listen to it?

“What did I do that for? I’m such an idiot!”

“I’m so fat!”

“I’ll never make anything of my life!”

“Why does this always happen to me?”

“I’ll never get this right!”

This inner critical voice has been with us since very early in our lives. It’s our most consistent companion. Maybe you’ve tried to change it with positive affirmation statements or to silence it through meditation, but it’s very hard to fool yourself or to shut this voice down and despite all your efforts, the inner critic is loud and clear and bossy as ever: “Yeah right! As if!” So you check to see if it’s 5pm yet: “Surely it’s time for my evening glass of wine!” or you reach for some chocolate or cake or some other comfort food and get lost in Facebook for a while. It’s much easier to numb.

What if you really started listening to this voice and what it has to say? What if you put on a different set of ears and listen through the negativity and criticism to what is really being expressed?
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Where do you feel it in your body?

Power-Of-FocusingLast Monday morning, I woke up after a restless night feeling rather anxious. I could feel almost a flat board through my middle. It was a very strong sensation. I knew I needed to get up soon and start getting ready for work so I didn’t have a lot of time to unpack it and work out what was going on. I decided to try Focusing (“a body-oriented process of self-awareness and emotional healing”), so I focused on the sensation and just said “hello” to it. To my surprise, it eased almost instantly. It didn’t completely go away but it eased to a more bearable level.

A couple of days later, I was late picking up my daughter from her first gymnastics class. She told me that she was really frightened and just about to cry when I arrived. She had heard a beeping sound and thought it was an emergency siren and that something had happened to me (a couple of weeks earlier, she had witnessed a man die after he dove off a rock into a pool and then all the emergency vehicles and CPR etc. so there is probably some residual trauma from that experience). Continue reading