Quote from Gabor Maté
Quote from Gabor Maté’s Scattered Minds, “Self-regulation is not the absence of anxiety, at least not in the very beginning, but a person’s ability to tolerate her own anxiety.”
I think a common misconception about health and healing is that it is the absence of symptoms or distress.
But we are humans living in a distressing world that can often provoke anxiety, depression, nightmares, difficulty focusing, and so on.
It is how we react and respond to these symptoms that determines our health and healing.
When we take a critical perspective towards ourselves for having feelings or symptoms, or when we try to avoid and suppress these feelings, that is when we are likely to be unhealthy.
And the more we fight with ourselves and our symptoms, the more energy we put into the problem, the longer that problem is likely to last.
When we can come from a place of radical acceptance and compassion and curiosity, those are the ingredients of health.
For example, if I suddenly feel a flood of anxiety and foreboding, what might radical acceptance look like? It may be gently observing to myself, “I am noticing a lot of anxiety right now.”
Compassion may look like teling myself, “I am going to sit with myself in a quiet place and just be with my feelings.”
Curiosity may look like asking myself what might have provoked this feeling, what am I needing right now? What happens if I focus on my beathing right now?