Learning To Give Ourselves A Hand

September 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

I am not a sports fan.  Actually the only thing I watch is the World Cup every four years. .  I know the Broncos is a football team but I’ve never seen Kenny McKinley play. But I do know depression and mental illness.

Kenny McKinley committed suicide this past Monday (9/20/10) at age 23.  His death makes us stop and wonder how a young man with a promising career would find himself in such a dark place that the only way out for him was suicide.

One of the things that make it hard to treat mental illness is its uniqueness.  You can take two people and put them through the same situations and the results will be completely different.  That’s because we see, feel and process experience through our own set of inherited and acquired tools.  Depression and mental illness are the results of “distorted” ways of seeing things or short-circuits/malfunction of the brain.

I’m not a doctor so I’ll move away from discussing medical reasons for depression and mental illness.  What I want to talk about is how sometimes we add to our suffering by the way we see ourselves.

I have battled extraneous self-criticism my entire life.  For some reason the compassion and understanding I extend to others I cannot to me.  I often judge myself very harshly and disregard any accomplishments or good qualities that make up my existence.  I have hurt myself tremendously as I have cracked the whip harder than anyone else would.  But I do believe this is behavior I can change.

I have arrived at being clear about the existence of this misguided self-criticism and the control it exerts over my well-being.  I can now dialogue with it and tone it down but I still struggle to silence it.  It is a work in progress.

There are certain behaviors and mental processes that we have which we can change if we identify and commit to transformation.  But to do that we have to put our egos aside.  We have to really know that all of us have difficulties and acknowledging them doesn’t make us weak or defective.  It actually takes strength and courage to see our “imperfections” and devote our energy to change.

We are our own master pieces and life is the frame work we have to get as close as possible to completion. Whatever repetitive behavior is stealing away your sense of well-being, recognize it, face it, have compassion and finally change.

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