When our sense of self-worth is still low, we cannot set limits, make boundaries, or respect our own needs. Our seemingly compassionate assistance becomes mixed with dependence, fear, insecurity. Mature love and healthy compassion are not dependent but interdependent, born out of a deep respect for ourselves as well as for others. …Sometimes compassion for ourselves and others requires us to set great limits and boundaries, to learn to say no and yet not put another person out of our heart.
…In the paradox of life sometimes our compassion requires us to say yes and sometimes it requires us to say no. these may seem like opposites but they are not. Each can express a respect for all beings, including ourselves.
…When genuine compassion and wisdom come together, we honor, love, praise, and include both ourselves and others. Instead of holding the ideal that we should be able to give endlessly with compassion for all beings “except me,” we find compassion for all beings including our self.
— Jack Kornfield
One of the best parts of being a psychotherapist is that it increases how often you get to hear people speak from their heart and tell you their deepest known truth. It also gives lots of reminders about how many people are suffering far more than they let on in public. Beyond the therapy office, I have heard countless stories recently that portray great suffering in the everyday lives of many I know.
I wish we could all be a little kinder and more generous in our attitudes and treatment of one another. In other words, calling upon “benefit of the doubt” to increase compassion, knowing we don’t always know all of what a person is actually dealing with and how it might show up in less than ideal behaviors.
Yet, when we ourselves feel overextended, trying to fend off overwhelm, suffering from too much stress ourselves, empathy and compassion tend to decrease. With a revved up nervous system, or a sense of depletion, we are less in tune with our own inner state, and have far less capacity to be attentive and gracious toward others. This primes us for some pretty nasty cycles with loved ones and within society at large.
Self-care is never a selfish act—it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others. Anytime we can listen to true self, and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives we touch.
— Parker Palmer
With the holiday season so recently behind us, and resolutions for making better choices in abundance, it seemed timely to offer In a Gentle Way You Can Shake Your World, a 6-week introductory level series on Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE). This is an opportunity to increase your self-care and help others at the same time as all proceeds will benefit Trauma Recovery for East African Refugees in San Diego. For details, click here.
Happy New Year,
Barbara English, LMFT
Founder & Executive Director, Living Ubuntu
[Ubuntu] n. Every human being truly becomes a human by means of relationships with other human beings.
::: JANUARY EVENTS :::
Thursday, January 16 6:30p
Planning Meeting for:
April 2014 Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month
Remembering the Past toward Healing our Future: A six event commemorative film series featuring the stories of survivors and their children
ADDRESS: 2424 S.E. Bristol Street, Suite 300, Newport Beach, CA 92660
Sundays, January 19 – February 23
In a gentle way you can shake your world
Introduction to Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE) — A Six Session Small Group Weekly Series
To Benefit Trauma Recovery for East African Refugees in San Diego
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