Hello my dears! My name is Johanna, and I welcome you to the Johanna Draconis - The Deconstruction Of C-PTSD podcast.
In this episode we will talk about being empathic with oneself - which is difficult and is a skill that needs to be learned.
Self care is surprisingly hard and many struggle to be empathic with themselves - be it because they were taught it or because of depression and the like clouding the way. So let us talk about it.
I have to admit that I am not best at it myself - it took me many years before I was able to pick it up. Who knew that beating yourself up and self blaming would be such a hard habit to break?
One would think that breaking bad habits is like getting rid of trash in your house - you can just throw them out and all is done and well. In theory the world is such an easier place I have to say.
It is hard, some call it connecting with your inner child - other refer to it with learning to embrace oneself. The basis remains the same: Learning to listen inside of you and be empathic with oneself.
It is rather difficult to disconnect oneself with the wants, needs, desires and demands of those around us. We are social beings - our place in our group is of utmost important to us.
There is a method used by several - which is usually proven quite effective. It is imagine yourself as another person sitting in front of you - does that change how you interact? The things you say or feel?
The things we say to ourselves we most of the time would never say to other people… especially not the ones dear to us. So why are we so hard on ourselves? Often because we were taught these things as children.
The things we hear as children we internalize and they become later the voices and opinions in our heads. We can change them, but it requires work.
You did what you at that time thought was best (wisdom now vs wisdom then)
One thing to keep in mind is your increased wisdom. You might remember how you once thought you had it mostly figured out - but old diaries are exposing how much you didn’t and your line of thought changed. It can even be alien.
There is a saying going around on the Internet saying “if you cringe on something you did in the past - it is a sign you have grown”. I absolutely agree with it - you did what you thought at that time was the right thing.
I also want to add the saying “I wish I had the knowledge of the next day - without having to learn the things I learned”. We might regret choices, but we had to learn somehow and therefor would choose differently today.
But in the end - we did what we thought was right at the time and we need to accept that. We are not perfect - we can only do what we can with the tools and knowledge in our toolbox. We are neither almighty nor all knowing.
It is okay to be not perfect
Which leads us to the next thing: It is okay to be not perfect. Many who suffered abuse in the past are trained to be perfect - as otherwise the punishment would occur. That abuse can also be being ignored by ones parents.
Ever started a hobby and frustrated that you weren’t a master? Find it hard to forgive yourself for making mistakes? Find it hard to defend yourself if you do? That is usually taught behavior - not something one just develops.
Once again no one has to say anything to teach it - gestures, a slight mimic change, a slight change in voice or the lack of something - are all things that can lead for this to be taught. No one is perfect - no one can be.
We are all humans. This is one of these things that you have to go over again and again, if you want it to change - but I would say it is definitely worth it. You are not worth less if you are not perfect.
Be grounded in reality
Even though I know how hard it is to let go of it. It is security. If I am perfect - I can’t be attacked! People have no reason to treat me badly or not to like me… That is not how it works.
You can do everything right and still fail. You can be the best possible person and people will still find ways to dislike you. So it is best to let go of that picture of perfection that doesn’t exist in the real world.
Especially in social medias and magazines give that picture of warped reality, that doesn’t exist. It makes people unhappy and depressed. Despite it not being real and all fake. It is not wise to spend too much time with it.
So if you want to do yourself a favor: stay away from fashion magazines with their photo shopped figures and from social media accounts that portray the perfect life that doesn’t exist. The truth will set you free.
I recommend being grounded in reality - the only place where you can actually live and find happiness. Self confidence comes from knowing all your strengths AND faults - and still accept yourself. Not from having none.
That was it for todays episode, I hope you found it helpful. Hope you are safe and well. And as always, if you have any questions or feedback and the like, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information and transcript you can find as usually under johannadraconis.com/Podcast, information regarding therapy you can find under johannadraconis.com/Therapy and links are in the description.
I hope to see you next time. Watch yourselves and have a wonderful time.