An Exercise to Create Acceptance
Covid 19 came out of the blue and surprised us all of a sudden. Pandemic was a word that belonged to history or that could be related to apocalyptic times. We never thought that we were going to have to live through a Pandemic. No one is ever ready or prepared to face one. We all were immerse in our own struggles trying to get by, but still having a certain sense of control.
As I write these words, I want you to step out of your world for a second and look with me from the outside. What are you feeling as you read my words?
Can you find some compassion towards yourself for everything that you have gone through?
Maybe the stress of losing a job, or a loved one, or actually getting the virus. Or dealing with the tension of having to be there for others and at the same time providing for your family? Maybe having problems in your relationships because of different values and views, or problems with family due to the strain that causes facing a pandemic and trying to stop the boat from sinking? Or conflict with your loved one, because distress pushes you to the edge and you are not in the same page with them anymore? Or struggling to support your children who might be going through difficult times or have special needs? Or going through the stress to reinvent yourself to find a way to provide for your family? Or maybe concerns about your own health or someone in your family with health predispositions, or maybe everything I listed above.
These are difficult times and acknowledging it can help us to be kind to ourselves and remember that we are doing the best we can with what we know. And remember that best is going to look different for everyone!
It is important to lower our expectations for ourselves and for others during these times.
Something important to remember is that we are all a product of our experience and because of that, our choices are going to be different. They are not good or bad, nor right or wrong. They are the right choices for each of us and if we get to understand this, we will have an easier time accepting each other and having compassion for others.
Sometimes we might need to prove to others that our choices are the right ones because of a black and white thinking which is considered a distorted cognition. Or because we need validation from others to feel good about ourselves. In reality there is big gray area, black or white thinking is just a false illusion. And the only people we need approval from is from ourselves. Let’s give us the gift of being free and just allow ourselves to be and it will allow us to let others be.
If we can arrive to a state of compassion, we are going to be able to stop being hard on ourselves, which usually gets us stock in a place of regret, failure, despair and even depression. Once we feel compassion for ourselves, we will get the energy and the motivation to move forward in our life.
Cristina Deneve, MA, AMFT
Supervised by Michael Uram,, LMFT, LPC