Posts Tagged ‘Gratitude’

Caring for ourselves in relationships



Living with your Heart Wide Open:

“Caring for ourselves in relationships with others is another way to cultivate self-compassion.

Do you really need to remain in relationships that make you feel small or less alive?

Do you really need to accommodate yet another phone conversation with the “friend” who calls you only when she needs advice or reassurance?

Do you always have to accommodate lunch invitations from a coworker who likes to gossip about the other people in your workplace?

Why not try discouraging relationships that feel like they deplete you and nourishing relationships that make you feel loved and appreciated and bring out the best in you?

We are meant to love one another and care for one another in the deepest sense, and cultivating relationships that manifest these qualities is the very heart of self-compassion.”



Compassion for our Inner Critic?



“You can learn to witness unpleasant thoughts and emotions with self-compassion, and even come to feel a certain amount of compassion for the inner critic (which often helps calm this eternal source of self-criticism).”

Living with your Heart Wide Open



My two cents: Have compassion for our inner critic, interesting!

I have been trying to murder my inner critic, at least cut his vocal cords.

Once again, surrendering to our fears is the correct path.

My human nature always wants to face, resist and fight off criticism, external or internal.

That has ended badly.

Now, I will adapt and build compassion for my inner critic.

New things are always awkward at first.



The Many Paths to Self-Compassion from Living with your Heart Wide Open

Pixabay bhpsundra624


Investigating how you can cultivate self-compassion in your life involves an exploration of how you relate to your body, thoughts, and emotions, and also how you choose and maintain your relationships.

Considering how we can be more compassionate toward our bodies can help many of us see how very little compassion we have for ourselves and how hard we push ourselves physically.

You may find yourself answering yet another e-mail even though you’ve needed to use the bathroom for over an hour, or you may eat junk food from the nearest source just so you can get back to work sooner.

You may convince yourself that you don’t have time to exercise, or you may have a somewhat perverse sense of pride in how little sleep you get.

Paying attention to the many ways you mistreat your body can provide a great deal of insight into how you can begin practicing self-compassion right now—simply by reversing many of these habits. It’s the same with thoughts and emotions.

You can learn to witness unpleasant thoughts and emotions with self-compassion, and even come to feel a certain amount of compassion for the inner critic (which often helps calm this eternal source of self-criticism).

When you notice that you’re being hard on yourself for something like being late for an appointment, you can turn toward this self-criticism with a soft and kind acknowledgement, like “It’s only a mistake; I love you anyway.

If you notice that you’re ruminating on a feeling like guilt and saying things to yourself that are just making you feel more guilty, you can acknowledge this morbid indulgence; for example, you might say,

“This is just a guilt-fest” or “Will heaping on even more guilt really help me learn from this mistake?”

For most of us, learning to attend to our thoughts and emotions with this friendly kind of attention is a very different way of being in the world.



Oscar Wilde quotes

“I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.”





“The world is a stage and the play is badly cast.”
– Oscar Wilde





PTSD stats


From Recovery Village

PTSD treatment statistics

Psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of the two can treat PTSD. There are multiple types of psychotherapies used to treat PTSD; however, trauma-focused psychotherapies with a mental healthcare professional are the most recommended. This type of treatment helps people process their experiences by focusing on the memory of the traumatic event or its meaning. 

Studies have demonstrated that up to 46% of people with PTSD show improvement within the first six weeks of psychotherapy. Antidepressants are also a treatment option to alleviate the symptoms of PTSD, including anxiety, with studies showing up to 62% of people receiving medication for PTSD show improvement. (American Family Physician, 2003)



My two cents: 46% improve? What kind of stat is that. Hell I improved and suffered for decades.

I improved over a five year period of daily work. This stat was taken after six weeks of therapy.

This study is worthless, no one with serious PTSD heals in six weeks.

Our Psychological cabal does not have stats about healing, the duration it takes to heal or what therapy works best.

Each therapist you visit is a special fiefdom of their schooling and beliefs.

Each therapist will have different skills and different philosophies on healing.

Took me six months to understand PTSD and its symptoms.

In my experience a combination of therapy, medication and our own daily work heals the best, fastest.

Depends on the therapy and therapist you choose plus how hard you work and what skills you develop.

Healing is possible but not easy or quick.



Looking back, assessing the arduous journey



For some of us abuse started around five, way before a little mind had developed. I did not have the skills to even discern it was abuse. Criticism replaced encouragement, achievement was expected not rewarded.

I thought everyone was raised like me. Perfection was demanded of all kids and met with harsh physical punishment when it was not attained.

Fear, anxiety and a stomach that ached and was prone to vomiting often followed me. Never figured out, it was my abuse that was the culprit. My nervous system was in survival mode quite often.

Everyday life had real danger, verbal threats, physical harm and suffering.

I was shocked to find other kids had a much different experience.

They could not relate to me and I sure as hell had no idea what love, support and kindness looked like. I did not fit in at home or school.

Looking back, it seemed I needed to suffer a tremendous amount in my life before death would grace my door.

One of the biggest joys of my life was healing (improving) the first time.

For two years life was free of intense anxiety and suffering.

At 68, I see I fought a lifetime to earn two short years. But those two years meant everything to me, a magnificent triumph.

Now another trauma has returned and upset the delicate balance between suffering and being free.

In spite of my plight, I meditate and practice as hard as ever.

For my life, I had to find some peace of mind, some happiness in my ability to endure my suffering and not slack off my effort.

That was happiness for me.

Happiness is much different for me than normal kids.

I have gratitude because I know other kids had it much worse than me.

Self pity is something I loathe and rarely practice.

This recent trauma has clarified why I am like I am.

It was not easy to sit and accept everything about myself.

How about your journey and challenges?

Never give up, never give in.



A viewer asks a great question. I reference Top Gun and the Danger Zone



“I do a lot to avoid seeing my trauma in my head. I turn away from thoughts and images. However what I can’t drop are the body sensations. They come on like a steam roller and leave me exhausted and sometimes frozen. When the therapy session is too much & I’m outside my WOT (window of tolerance) it’s not good. There’s too much suffering and not enough healing.”



My two cents: There is a fine line between letting go and avoiding trauma thoughts.

Avoiding is a symptom of PTSD, I ended up agoraphobic for six months. I was really good at avoiding my trauma.

Suffering intensified, my body sensations became unbearable, so I avoided even more. It is a vicious cycle

We dissociate (leave this present moment) continually in this dysfunctional circle.

I lived outside my window of tolerance for years because of dissociating and avoiding my triggers, life.

Solution: We must experience our trauma thoughts, observe our body sensations (trauma) without judgment or cognition.

I had to feel my emotional trauma in its entirety before it would release and fade away.

No way around our trauma exists, only suffering down that road.

A pill, a therapist, distraction or avoidance powers PTSD.

Our symptoms increase as does the time we spend outside our window of tolerance.

This is important: What we do when PTSD is at its apex, it’s most powerful and scariest point, decides if we heal.

Until I built the courage and focus skills to sit quietly and observe my body sensations when my fight or flight mechanism fired, I had no chance of healing.

PTSD powers itself when we are out of our window of tolerance.

Think of the movie Top Gun and the song Danger Zone.

We are in the danger zone when our ptsd is out of control, outside our window of tolerance.

We can not run or avoid our trauma and heal, bottom line.

Each time we avoid, PTSD becomes a little more unknown and scary to us. The unknown can haunts us.

PTSD does not need to be any more power or fear, especially because we avoided it.

Our fear grows. Our priority is to decrease our fear so we can do the work of healing.

Takes daily practice, takes trying and failing many times without giving up.

That was my experience anyway.

Hope this helps. I was the king of avoidance and suffered.

Learn from my mistakes.



Looking back, my improvements always involved some extra pain that needed to be endured to move forward.



Affirmation: In this moment right now, I feel my body overflowing with approval, safety and kindness

Record, repeat, use it to replace thoughts and unrest.

When intrusive thoughts arrive substitute saying your mantra.

Our mind can only handle one of these thoughts, the trauma one or our affirmation.

Change your self image this way.

I sat in a chair at the bathroom mirror, as I repeated that mantra, outloud over and over.

Awkward and uncomfortable does not approach my feelings in front of that mirror.

I persisted though knowing a reward would be waiting for my effort.

Looking back, my improvements all involved some extra pain that needed to be endured to move forward.

Limit the amount of time you spend in thought, in the past, in the center of worry and doubt.

When we are aware of what our mind focuses on, an opportunity, a choice appears for us.

We choose to get lost in thought or stay present with our developed skills.

We start to heal at this base level by choosing to recite our mantra, or concentrating on an object or distracting the mind to healthier places.

Choose to spend your time in the present moment doing something you are aware of.

Enter into the mundane chores. Discover the purpoas for doing something and then surrender to the good in the action.

I healed or improved not only from sitting in meditation for many hours, but from the application of being present with an awareness where my mind focused.

We can direct where the mind focuses its attention, maybe we could use this power to be happy.



Living in the past with PTSD


From Coping with Trauma Related dissociation.

” While the part of the personality that copes with daily life is avoidant, at least one other and usually more than one other part remain stuck in traumatic memories and think, feel, and behave as though these events are still happening (at least to a degree) or about to happen again.

These parts are usually stuck in repeating behaviors that are protective during threat, even when they are not appropriate.

For example, some parts fight to protect even when you do not need such protection in the present, others want to avoid or run away even though you are safe, some freeze in fear, and others completely collapse.

These parts are often highly emotional, not very rational, limited in their thinking and perceptions, not oriented to the present time, and are overwhelmed.

They primarily live in trauma time, that is, they continue to experience the traumatic past as the resent, and hold emotions, beliefs, sensations, and so forth that are related to traumatic experiences.”


My two cents: This was the final piece that explained what was happening to me.

It took many meditative sits to uncover what parts were stuck.

It is like living in a big rowboat with few oars not in sync or rowing the opposite direction.

These stuck parts were sabotaging my recovery.


Meditation is a matter not of theory


This is a very healing action!



“Meditation is a matter not of theory but of practice, just as it does not satisfy your hunger to read a restaurant menu if you are not going to eat something from it.“

Matthew Richard



My two cents: Meditation is not an intellectual property, reading a book or taking a class helps little.

Our healing will happen internally by our own action.

This action for me was meditating and integrating.

If this does not work for you, then find an action.

As one therapist told me, if you have to limp, get out on the dance floor.

The conditions for those of us with ptsd are never going to be perfect.

Each trigger, I forced myself to stay present for one breath before I avoided, denied or froze. In time that one breath grew to two, then five and eventually ten.

By that time panic had calmed and I guess I ate the elephant a bite at a time. Small actions work.

I could of labeled those stepping stones failures instead they were valued as successes.

We need Little Successes and that happens with daily activity and direction.



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