One of the biggest fallacies of modern living is that everything should be easy. The opposite is true. Without courage, we easily become stuck in unhelpful behavioural patterns of avoidance and striving. Courage involves a willingness to accept whatever we are experiencing at the moment. Courage is the practice of being present, aware and curious about our world, our emotions and our thoughts. Courage is possible when we embrace and respect our feelings.
When we experience hurt it feels natural to get away from it. An attempt to build walls of protection around us to protect ourselves from further pain seems like a good idea. Unfortunately, self-protective walls result in our finding it very difficult to appreciate the tender, gentle, loving and kind aspects of ourselves and each other. In our attempts not to feel hurt or vulnerable, we lose our human ability to celebrate and suffer with each other. Compassion is the practice of being kind-hearted and gentle with ourselves and each other and is the lifeblood of thriving.
We are designed for connection. Whether you believe in evolution or creation both accounts of the world explain the human condition as social. We survive and thrive in the context of loving, accepting, supportive relationships. Our sense of self is understood in the context of our sense of belonging - to another individual, to family, to a community and within social and work groups. Thriving requires an ability to join together with others, to be fully present, open and accepting. Connection is not academic it is an action. The action of reaching out, holding hands, sharing laughter and tears.
Psychology for Thriving