It’s easy to instinctually be gentle with others whenthey are in pain or need comfort. Yet, when itcomes to yourself, you may be at a complete loss ofhow to be gentle with yourself. You may feelcompletely undeserving of gentleness and compassion.Instead of turning to starving, bingeing, purging, or anyother kind of self-injurious behavior, promise yourselfthat you will treat yourself with tender compassion.Promise yourself that you will unconditionally acceptexactly where you are in your processs. Do not walkaway from yourself while you are hurting so badlyinside… Be there for yourself
Below is a list of gentle things you can do for yourself to help you through your pain…
*Accept where you are in your process. This meansaffirming to yourself: “I am in pain right now. There aremany things that have wounded me deeply. Thesewounds have not yet healed; it is okay to feel this pain.Getting in touch with my pain, feeling it, and sittingwith it for a time is what will lead me to heal. I will beokay, even though I may not feel like I am okay rightnow: I will be okay.
*Quiet the critic in your head. Tell the critical voiceinside yourself that you have heard enough from it.Teach it to respect you. Tell your critical voice that youwill no longer listen to its hurtful messages. Tell it thatyou will be listening to the soft loving voice of yourheart instead. Then connect with the voice in yourheart. What does it tell you about your pain? Whatthings does it suggest you do? In what direction doesyour heart guide you? Does it tell you to honorr yourprocess? Does it tell you to be true to your innerfeelings and spend time with them? Does it tell you togive yourself a break from them by taking a peacefulwalk or listening to music?
*Cry it soothes the pain. Just curl up in a comfortable spotand cry your heart out. You most likely have a lot of tearsin you that have never been cried. Now that the dam ofself destructive thinking and behavior is no longerblocking your tears, you are free to cry them. Cryingensures that your spirit does not drown; crying can beginto set you free. Cuddle with a soft teddy bear. No one isever too old for the comfort offered by a plush stuffedanimal. If you don’t have one, go to a store and look forone that looks friendly and loving. A stuffed animal can beespecially comforting if your pain of the moment is relatedto your childhood. Even if your pain is connected solidlyto the present, the stuffed animal can help you to feel safeand comforted. Remind yourself that you deservetenderness and comfort
* Confide in the pages of your journal. Pour your heart outinto its pages. Bear your soul. Write about the things thattorment your being. Let your thoughts and feelings flowfrom the end of your pen and form into expressive words.Sometimes writing about your thoughts and feelings cansometimes provide you with tremendous relief. Manypeople find that they can write things that they cannot say.Maybe you would like to share your writing with someoneclose to you. Perhaps you would like to bring it intotherapy with you. Sometimes it helps to feel as though atleast one other person in the world knows how you are feeling.
• Risk… try telling another person how you feel while you are feeling that way. Share your secrets, your heartache,and your shame with a safe person in a safe environment… perhaps in therapy. It is truly an amazing experience to share your inner most self with someone and find out that they will not walk a way from you. It can be a frightening thing to do, but the rewards can be incredible,too. Perhaps you would like to try.Perhaps you have obligations that you must meet, which prevent you from allowing yourself to fully experience your feelings. Promise your heart that you will attend to it later. Imagine wrapping it in a soft, warm blanket to keep it safe and comfortable until you are able to come back,and spend time with it while tenderly attending to its wounds.
Remember pain requires time in order to heal. Some painrequires more healing time than others. Promise yourselfthat you will walk through it no matter how long it takes.There is light at the end of the path; there is wellness. Painis an inevitable part of living and loving in this world.Remember that all pain is legitimate and has a purpose. Somany times we feel unentitled to our pain and feelings.Feeling unentitled leads us to push them away, reject them,or bury them. You are entitled to all of your feelings;embrace them. They are what make you whole.