In every painful situation there are two sorts of suffering.
The pain of the circumstances and our resistance to the situation (including our lack of compassion to ourselves).
The pain of the situation is easy to understand.
Our grief, disappointment, anger, guilt, shame and all those other challenging emotions are easy to see and feel.
However, our resistance to the situation and lack of compassion for ourselves can be harder to see, although their effects are just as debilitating.
Although EFT/Tapping makes good use of our body and mind’s natural abilities to quickly soothe painful emotional states, we can easily be caught up in self-criticism and judgement of ourselves for having the problem in the first place. We may be so used to this self criticism that we barely notice it.
When we are with someone else who is suffering we may feel very accepting and compassionate of them and their distress and have a strong wish to ease their pain.
However, when we have a problem or experience some distress, we might not feel quite so accepting or compassionate of ourselves as we do of others.
Instead of being kind to ourselves we might think that it is wrong for us to have this problem. We might believe that being in this situation proves that we are bad, pathetic or unacceptable as a human being.
Not only do we suffer the problem we can even feel bad about feeling bad: we are a problem having a problem.
Falling off a bike can hurt in more ways than one
Recently I saw a sad demonstration of how this lack of self-compassion starts. When I was walking the dog one afternoon I saw a young schoolgirl fall off her bike, she landed in a heap, stood up and started to cry.
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