I have heard these words many times in the therapy room. 'I am my own worst enemy'. I can remember saying them to my therapist some years ago. Now it did not happen over night, I didn't necessarily force changes, it happened naturally. I befriended myself , I do nice things for me, I work on making better decisions, I practice reassuring, comforting and lower my expectations of myself.
We can explore how we came to this place of treating ourselves badly?
We can think about where did it all start?
We may find ourselves creating havoc in relationships, over committing, letting others down.
We may find ourselves thinking we are bad people, not worthy, choosing less than we deserve.
Exhaustion and chronic fatigue may be physical symptoms.
Constant headaches from feeling pressured.
It may not a specific time or place when the blaming or shaming started. When guilty feelings propelled us into giving too much.
It is usually over a period of time, when repeated messages are reinforced, by parents, society, cultural beliefs, religion, peers, teachers.
Think about if you put yourself last or find it difficult to say no? Feel constantly heavily compromised?
I want to be clear, the way I practice is not about blaming others. Therapy allows us the time to understand, firstly what we are doing that's badly affecting our life and secondly the reasons. We can in time learn to understand how these ways of beings are now established in our relationships, decision making and life choices.
Imagine what it is like to have an embedded splinter, it may be painful, sore, irritating, you know its there.
It may be slightly embedded so we can see it, or it may have got buried beneath the skin, we may need help to remove the splinter. For a while it will feel worse, it may hurt finding the splinter, it may take some time. Eventually though, it will heal, you will not be bothered by it.
Therapy is about considering your own responsibility and what others are responsible for. Of taking responsibility for your life, your choices and your behaviours. To consider your own needs as well as others. Therapy might free you, liberate your choices and mindset.
Or choose to live a simpler, happier, more content life.
We can learn to befriend ourselves. Therapy is not an easy journey, for some it is a difficult and emotionally turbulent. For most, the feedback is, that it has been worth it.
Paul Gilbert is one guru for self compassion. Check out his resources.
Sarah May Thorpe.
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All work is currently remote due to the Covid 19 (Coronavirus)
If you are concerned about working therapeutically, over the telephone or video, lets talk about it, we may be able to reassure you of any fears or concerns that may be stopping you, or decide that waiting for face to face sessions is the safest option.