Archive for February, 2011

the gratitude of loss

February 21st, 2011

Loss is always a part of life whether we choose it or not. And with loss comes challenges and opportunities if we stay open-hearted to them.

In October my mother was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and currently she is being cared for by hospice. Our life together hasn’t always been an easy one as I never felt like she truly understood who I am, and as a result, I eventually became angry and somewhat distant. The interesting thing now is that she has softened quite a bit and we’ve had more tender moments and intimacy than I remember in many decades.

As I anticipate this loss, I feel grateful for many things. One thing is that I wouldn’t be who I am if it wasn’t for my mother, and secondly, I get to have these warm moments–one moment at a time–as I witness her last chapter of life. Recovery teaches me that I get to live life on life’s terms and life has thrown me an unusual and powerful curveball showing me that even at the very end there’s still possibilities if we show up for them.

compassion

February 9th, 2011

Recently I’ve been finding that most of my clients can be such open-hearted, compassionate people with others, but when it comes to themselves it’s quite a different story. Self-judgment and self-critiquing are often the default setting. In therapy and in coaching it’s so vital to help our clients cultivate self-compassion which usually begins with accepting oneself for exactly who we are and eventually takes shape with empathy for self and self-love.

This has been an instrumental part of my personal journey as a “recovering perfectionist” who grew up in a family wallowing in shame and low self-worth. Every day I feel grateful for the opportunity to move a bit closer to self-compassion, and I hold this intention with my clients one day at a time.