Did you know that self-compassion could be the alternative to treating yourself as a bag of dicks? We, together with the research teams around the world has found it to be a fundamental, and extremely effective, component of leading a life where you’re no longer a jerk to yourself.
Written by: Emely Ostberg, MSc (Counsl. Psych), Psychologist at the Bell Yard Psychology Clinic, London, UK.
I would like to invite you to imagine yourself making a mistake. Say you’re driving back home from the store. In the store where your kid’s been nagging you for sweets for the past 30 minutes. You’ve kept your calm pretty well. But another part of you felt self-conscious, feeling almost as if people judging the way you dealt with the situation. You leave the store with not much energy and strap your kid into the backseat, of course with the usual protests. On your way home you hit a traffic light and the same minute you do your kid starts asking again for a lollipop, when you say ‘no, there won’t be any sweets today’ she starts screaming. You try to explain calmly for the 100th time. And begins the familiar kicking in the back of your seat. You notice your face getting red and flustered, you feel your upper body tense up, clenching the wheel and that familiar feeling inside your chest starts bubbling. It is almost as if you’re vibrating from the inside. …and you yell ‘SHUT. THE. FUCK. UP.’
Kid starts crying. You notice their facial expression go from wanting a lolly to being afraid of you and the tears starts coming.
Shame hits you. You hear that inner critic of yours at full blast. ‘You’re a bad mommy’; ‘you’re not cut out for this’; ‘you’re a failure’; ‘you should be able to handle this’.
Soon the tears start rolling down your face and you begin counting the hours till bedtime.
Does this sound familiar? If it does, please know that this is a common human experience, especially for mothers in our day an age where parenting tend to fall on just two people, and sometimes just on one, leaving little to none space for you to re-charge and the perfect recipe for getting stuck in a loop of shame and anger and sadness, and sometimes even despair.
I now invite you to imagine what it would be like if you had someone next to you at that the store. Someone kind. Someone who encouraged you rather than told you that you didn’t do well enough. Someone who instead of saying ‘people are looking at you and think you’re handling this situation terribly’, said ‘wow this is a hard moment isn’t it. It’s hard to not react when your alarm system is going off, well done for staying neutral. I believe in you, you can do this.’ In a warm, calm, soothing voice. How do you think it would make you feel? Any different? Now imagine if you actually believed in the calming voice. Worlds apart right?
At the Bell Yard Psychology Clinic we’re here to help you to cultivate this other side.
- Cultivate self-compassion
- Find ways of regulating anger and rage
- Learn about the three flows of compassion
- Find new ways of acting with courage
- Use compassion as a motivator to change
With compassionate mind training we will work towards getting you in the driver seat of your life, and that internal critic of yours out. The next compassionate mind training is a womens only group and starts in February 2020.
Get in touch today to claim early bird discount rate.