Is this really week FIVE already?! It’s going by so fast that I appear to have lost all creative originality, when it comes to titling these posts! 😉 I’m now beyond the halfway point, despite missing the session last week. All I can say to summarise is that it is help. It is making a difference and that it is giving me lots to think about and consider. After that synopsis, I trust some of you will still continue to read on… 🙂
You can probably tell that I’m not in a low mood. For each of the past two weeks, my Mondays have been close to horrendous (at least, inside my own mind). I’m holding on to the positives right now because they’re cropping up all over the place. Maybe I’m now more accustomed to seeing and accepting them?
In the week that I missed, we apparently looked in detail at the ‘Threat System’, how it affects our thinking and noting the thoughts and behaviours that tend to follow. Hmmm, it doesn’t sound very pleasant, does it? I’m kind of glad I missed that one, even though I’m free to explore it at my own leisure.
Yesterday evening, we were talking about ‘Safety Strategies’, which might also fall under the category of ‘Soothing’. I spent the first half of the session pondering why I was really there, in the room. I felt very distant; as though I was only there to make a social appearance; as if I didn’t actually want to help myself. But then, after the ten-minute midway break, my thoughts and feelings lifted, hoisting my mood and enthusiasm with them, as we began looking at the well regarded Rules for Living.
This was somewhat familiar from the Anxiety Management course I did previously but, tackling it from the angle of self-esteem; I don’t know, it just seemed to resonate with me that much more. One rule (among several) that particularly stood out for me concerned blaming present problems on events of the past and I decided to work with this one in the class. My next example would’ve been a rule along the lines of a belief that ‘I should always be happy, or smiling‘.
As you might have guessed, I blame my parents in this rule (which is an all too common belief). We were advised that blaming someone or other people is not healthy and I can understand that. It doesn’t lead to any resolve. Instead, we’re encouraged to show compassion towards these people. In this example; to accept that they did their best. I can accept that in the case of my mother because I truly believe she did try her hardest given the circumstances and she has almost always been there for both my sister and I. Yet, I only believe that my dad could’ve done a heck of a lot more. He could’ve tried harder and this belief is only reinforced by revelations of abuse and threatening behaviour that my mother has only revealed to me in recent years since the divorce.
How can I show compassion to a man who caused so much pain? A man who starved us of our freedom. In a house where there was often the fear of what he might do next if I or we don’t do as expects.
My current strategy (although in its early stages) is to push him away; to keep him at a safe distance and it is helping to provide me with some much needed space. My family even supports me with this approach somewhat. I can feel safe now at times but I know he won’t go away for ever. I can talk to my mother but I don’t believe I would benefit from attempting to confront him (this was something I was encouraged to do by a counsellor the late last year). I have no evidence that suggests he would listen or even realise or admit to any wrongdoings.
I worry still that he wants and expects too much, just because he carries that three letter word (“dad”). If I try to be compassionate towards him, I worry that he’ll assume too much. That he’ll demand too much, when I would like him to back off, to let go and to accept (which is something I’ve recently come to terms with in another area of my life – and it does feel good).
Perhaps I misunderstand what compassion is… Would anyone like to share their understanding?
I may be wrong in saying this but I think Natalya once had some words of advice for me on this issue, with regards to not blaming or hating a parent who has hurt and/or upset you in the past. If anyone else has any words to share then please do. 🙂
Thank you all for reading.
(PS. Sorry, no day out, road trips or photographs this week! ;-))
- Loving kindness… (consciouslivingwell.wordpress.com)
- Compassion (thinkingaboutliving.com)
- Compassion? (2) (mydailyyogapractice.wordpress.com)
- Get Happy 09: Self Compassion (happinessisblog.com)
- 5 Self-Sabotaging Thoughts About Self-Compassion (blogs.psychcentral.com)
- Waiting with compassion and joy! (empowerandbalance.wordpress.com)