Relationships and being good enough
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Basia Spalek Registered Member BACP, PhD, MSc, Dip Counselling & Psychotherapy
17th September, 20150 Comments
Is it something I said? Is it something I did? Am I somehow to blame here?
These are questions we often ask ourselves when hard times come. If someone we love becomes unwell, distressed, distant, we often turn to ourselves to look for the reasons why this is happening. It is all too easy to blame ourselves for why somebody we love is behaving or feeling a certain way.
It is important to gain perspective over our relationships. Sometimes, things happen to people we love and we have little control over these things. We also have little control over how our loved ones respond to events in life. Allowing ourselves to be ‘good enough’ is key – we do not have to be superhuman. Each one of us has strengths and weaknesses. Each one of us has certain regrets. But this should not detract us from being good enough – good enough husbands, wives, mums, dads, brothers, sisters, and so on. Being good enough is accepting ourselves for who we are, and appreciating that we cannot control everything that happens to us in our lives.
Therapy can help clients to gain that wider perspective of themselves. Therapy can be a way through which clients can explore their feelings of guilt, particularly in relationships, and at the same time consider ways in which they have been supportive of their children, family members and friends.
Therapy can help restore balance to thoughts and feelings that are out of balance and too skewed towards negativity and blame. We can begin to shed old habits and create new ones. So, rather than believing that we somehow fall short of certain standards we set ourselves, we can learn to love and appreciate ourselves better. This newly found self-compassion can then help build stronger bridges between ourselves and our loved ones. This is an awakening experience, a deep realisation that, despite acknowledging the things we might have done differently with hindsight, we can value ourselves in relationships with others today, right now.
About the author
Basia Spalek is a practising psychotherapist, and is a Professor in Conflict Transformation. Basia enjoys walking and running in nature and is interested in helping people to grow therapeutically.
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