Looking with kind eyes
How do you look at yourself? How you look changes what you see
A common reason to come to therapy is because of poor self-image and low self-esteem. You may experience yourself as stupid, bas, ugly, worthless, weak or even disgusting. These harsh conclusions are the accumulation of your life experiences so far, and how you have interpreted them, and they can be very painful. A common wish is 'to feel better about myself.'
You may have tried convincing yourself that the judgments you are making are too harsh or not right, and may even have taken on mantras of the opposite. Oftentimes this sets up conflict more than resolving the underlying issue.
You may want to focus on how it is you are looking at yourself, rather than what it is that you see. When you look with cold eyes, your judgements are likely to be damning. Finding the softness within yourself to look with kind eyes, to be warm in your focus, shifts how you experience yourself.
Sometimes clients feel they do not deserve this self-compassion, or it is not their right. Until this shifts a good way forward can be to feel these feelings and do it anyway. The very act of softening your gaze, as if you were looking while gently smiling, can have profound effects. You might remember the newborn child you once were, and the goodness that is common to us all deep-down, and take your compassion from that thought into the present day.
Everyday acts of kindness, small things, a few moments to admire a beautiful flower, making yourself a favourite drink or meal, or even enjoying a relaxing bath or shower can be ways of showing yourself some care. The most important thing is finding the ways that work for you, that really let you know that you are caring for yourself, however fleetingly.
For help in working through issues with your self image, and to increase your self-compassion, get in touch.