Self-Love, the Silver Lining

Sadness.  Frustration.  Grief.  Anger.

When we are feeling these types of negative feelings, are they ever as bad as we think?  I don’t think so.  Humans survive – and sometimes even thrive – after experiences with harrowing events.   Part of human nature, and what makes us so special, is our ability to adapt.  So we do.  As much as we can.

Misunderstood.  Outcast.  Lonely.  Forlorn.

What happens when we feel no one understands our negative feelings or our experiences that induce these feelings?  Have you ever found yourself feeling unaffected after reaching out to others, or even feeling worse?  As a psychologist, I’ve been trained and discouraged to use terms like, “I know how you feel.”   Because no one ever really knows how anyone else feels.  Everyone’s feelings, perceptions and experiences are unique to them, to their history, to their environment.  Because of this, it is important to remember that others may not receive what we share the way we want them to (because they have their own feelings and experiences!), and it becomes equally important to choose carefully who we share what with.  For example – we may not want to share that we got fired with our gossipy friend, or share a night of drunken escapades with a judgmental friend.  Ultimately, we want to maximize our chances of feeling better, and minimize our chances of feelings worse.  This is not to say that our gossipy or judgmental friend is not trying his or her best – but only that they may not be the appropriate person for the circumstance.

Empathy.  Compassion.  Kindness.  Patience.

When we are engulfed by the negativity, and are unable to be pacified by our friends, family, peers, loved ones, etc.  I suggest that we expect the same compassion, empathy, kindness and patience that we desire from others, and give it to ourselves!   We deserve the same love from ourselves as much as we deserve it from anyone else (if not more!).

So, I leave you with this:

“As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART.”  – Charlie Chaplin

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