As I have stated before, anxiety is a part of life. It is also a part of being human. Being human can be very messy. Many of us who grew up in dysfunctional homes, and have used “control” and “perfectionism” as a way of surviving, have a hard time accepting the darker parts of ourselves. We walk around with unrealistic expectations of ourselves and a “mean” voice in our heads that is constantly judging and criticizing us. This harsh inner voice can run us without us even knowing it. It shows no mercy and can be a big inner source of anxiety and stress.
Paying attention to that voice to create awareness of the power the voice has over you is an important first step. Often the voice is part of our subconscious mind and we do not even realize it is talking to us. It is also important to start to consider where did that voice come from and what is it’s purpose? Please know that the voice is not you!! It is usually a compilation of negative childhood experiences and the messages we got from them. Experiences you may not even remember. The voice is harmful and creates anxiety and stress, and blocks our freedom to be who we really are and who we want to be.
If we are able to let go of that voice, what do we put in it’s place? Self-compassion. Having compassion for yourself is about seeking to understand rather than judge. It is about self-acceptance; accepting the strengths as well as the weaknesses, the dark as well as the light. When we pay attention to ourselves and discover thoughts and feelings, we allow them to be without any harsh criticisms or shoulds and shouldn’ts. The developing of compassion for ourselves takes time, awareness, and practice and can be a source of inner peace. Compassion is about learning to be patient and gentle with yourself. It is a very useful tool to managing an inner source of stress.
Take Good Care, Suzanne
“Compassion isn’t some kind of self-improvement project or ideal that we are trying to live up to. Having compassion starts and ends with having compassion for all those unwanted parts of ourselves, all those imperfections that we don’t even want to look at.” Pema Chodron