Sunday, September 25, 2016

Self-Compassion and Creativity

Woman In Bath - Degas

Dreams, visions, intuition and compassion all are part and parcel of our inner world of creativity and provide us with guidance and insight and are all important to pay close attention to, when struggling with life problems, personal growth, and self-discovery.

Self-Compassion is probably one of the most difficult things to give for ourselves. There are many reasons for this, more than I can decipher. But sociology-psychological factors come in to play I'm certain, and how we are culturally conditioned within society and families.

Many of us can easily be compassionate toward others without giving any thought of affording the same kindnesses and concern for ourselves. Eventually this will often leave us nothing but feelings of resentment and burnout, because we have over extended our energy and have nothing left to give anyone, not even ourselves.We may even end up feeling used, because we have been unable to say no.

Speaking as a woman, it has been my experience both personally and professionally, time and time again I've seen many women, myself included. who are single women, mothers, wives or both, in the helping professions who just can't say no, even if they so desperately want to.

Many woman feel validated and affirmed in the helping role and it's reinforced in many cultures. There is also an unspoken assumption that  women should be the care taker, the one who is always emotionally be strong, self-sacrificing and all things, to all people, at all times.

I recall a friend who worked in a profession where she was constantly expected to go above and beyond the responsibilities of her job. During our talks, she shared with me she'd reached the end of her rope, and could no longer continue trying conform and measure up to these unrealistic responsibilities and expectations.

She told me about an experience when she was at a point of exhaustion and was laying back in the bathtub with a facecloth over her eyes. She had kind of drifted off, was in that state between sleep and consciousness. She had a powerful vision that helped her make a decision to finally take care of herself.

The vision was of vultures, who had been picking at her body. After they had picked her bones completely clean, they then began fighting over her bones. My friend quit her job shortly after having this vision.

We do need to have compassion toward others, but we absolutely must extend the same kindness and self-compassion toward ourselves. Self-compassion is essential to a joyful, happy, self-caring and fully creative life.

Our inner world of creativity, is facilitated especially when we are self-compassionate and not self-judging toward ourselves.

"Have compassion for everyone you meet … You do not know what wars are going on down there, where the spirit meets the bone."
                                                - Lucinda Williams


thesycamoretree said...

Dr. Kristen Neff has a lot of good things to say about self-compassion. Her website is very informative:

Unknown said...

Thank you Bev. I came across her name when writing this post.

Elizabeth Gilbert has lots to say about this too.

Thank you for the link!