Having compassion for ourselves is necessary in order to find the courage to work through intense emotions and reflect on our behaviour in a realistic and productive way. It’s ok to make mistakes! And it’s ok to admit to making mistakes. What can become destructive and damaging to our mental health and relationships is when we believe that we shouldn’t make mistakes, that everyone else is doing better than us, and we are inadequate. This leads to denial of our issues due to the depth of pain we feel. In turn this leads to low self-esteem, shame and anger, which may be turned inwards as depression, addiction or self-harm, or outwards as hostility, aggression or violence. This perpetuates a cycle of negative relationships and beliefs that become self-fulfilling. The way to break out of this cycle is to first say, “Yes it’s ok to make mistakes! I have made mistakes, but I am still a good and worthy person. I don’t have to be perfect, all I can do is try my best to learn and grow”. Growing up doesn’t stop after childhood, there are always opportunities to grow in wisdom. Begin with compassion.
© Janey Colbourne 2015