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  • Mark Brafield

What do you feel about what you feel ?


A client came to see me about a compulsive behaviour, but within just a few sessions we had both worked out that we actually had two problems to deal with; the compulsive behaviour, and the package of negative emotions - frustration, anger and self-hatred - that surrounded the behaviour.

It was as if that package of negative emotions was acting as a shield preventing either of us from getting to grips with the underlying behaviour.

This is so often the case, and the real change can only start to happen when those covering emotions can be accepted openly and fully, without judgment or criticism. This is not to say that you complacently accept the problem, instead, that change starts, and is only possible, with kindness and acceptance, rather than beating yourself up.

Tamara Levitt (whose 'Calm' app I recommend to all of my clients) puts it well in a meditation;

'Many of us carry a sense that are not whole unless we are perfect, so we always have to 'fix' ourselves in some way.

What many of don't realise is that so long as we see ourselves as 'needing to be fixed', the message we are actually sending to ourselves is that we are broken. If you could just get over something, or be more or less of something, it would fix you.

Perhaps there is a sense that if you were fully healed, then sooner or later you would be complete.

If this is our belief, then we are missing an important truth; we are actually good enough as we are, right now. Acceptance is the key to letting go of the idea that we always need to fix ourselves.

To accept is to understand ourselves, and the key is to offer ourselves kindness; this is the place from which change occurs, not criticism. So be gentle with yourself. You are not broken. You do not need to be fixed. You are whole. You are complete. You are complete exactly as you are'.


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