SELF-COMPASSION AS RESILIENCE
The Antidote To Compassion Fatigue
Emotional and physical exhaustion leading to a diminished ability to empathise or feel compassion for others, often described as the negative cost of caring.
We all know the truth is that if we repeatedly ignore the exhaustion in our own bodies and place the needs of others before our own, at some point the elastic snaps. The definition of compassion fatigue is that our system shuts down and we lose all resource to connect compassionately with our fellow humans and even to take care of ourselves. If this is something that concerns you, perhaps you might like to meet me and my work.
It doesn't have to be like this. However, it will mean going against our cultural conditioning that our needs don't matter with phrases such as 'stop being selfish' 'you're too needy' 'get over yourself' needing our close attention and unravelling as to the violence that this causes us to inflict on ourselves and ultimately on others too.
Unless we tend with care to what's alive for us first as individuals in any given situation we cannot take care of anyone else. And if we do, it will be at great cost to our emotional and mental health and our pain will eventually spill over into our relationships. This is a lesson I learnt in my early years as the daughter of a violent alcoholic. My teaching is born of this 'lived experience'.
And so, I would like to support individuals and groups to re-learn and re-member the skill of self-care through compassionate understanding for ourselves, our needs and what's important to us. Through this act of radical self-care we can then enter a dialogue with others at the point where our needs intersect.