The Gestalt approach can involve exploring and reconciling polarities or opposites. A classic example is judgemental criticism vs kind acceptance. Lots of human suffering stems from the harsh thoughts that crash around inside our heads. As judge and jury, we often find ourselves (and others) guilty and hand out severe punishments.
Regularly practising the three elements of self-compassion advocated by Kristin Neff could have a profound impact on human lives. The first step is self-kindness vs self-judgement. Sound familiar?
'Our sorrows and wounds
are healed only when we
touch them with compassion'
While developing kinder self-talk often reduces the emotional distress linked to critical thinking, we may learn valuable things about ourselves if we can face and unpackage some of our judgements. So ‘Yes’ to more self-compassion, 'Yes' to exploring our judgements and ‘Yes’ to developing the wisdom to be real about our experiences so we can genuinely learn from them and move on.
Are you better at saying kinder things to friends than to yourself? As this video shows, many find it easier to be kinder to strangers too.