Depression, anxiety and stress are so common. Many studies suggest that we are experiencing a worldwide epidemic of depression. Even the rates for childhood depression have dramatically increased over the decades. In recent months, I was invited to speak to a number of communities challenged by the loss of an esteemed member through suicide. I have also tried to instil hope and resilience among some school communities touched by similar tragedies. The heartbreak and fear was palpable in such situations.
I have met hundreds of people who find themselves lost in the fog of life. They experience symptoms that are significantly impacting on the quality of their lives. In most circumstances, practically every single person that talks to me about these symptoms has a story to tell. Things happened to them, which they didn’t want to happen. We often find ourselves in circumstances that we did not plan for. Hurt, anger, regret, resentment are natural responses in emotional beings. And we are very vulnerable beings too. Even the hardest shell can crack. Even the toughest guy can tumble. Life is a wonderful journey but it is inevitable that will be challenged.
One common theme that I find in broken people is their inner-determination to hammer themselves through their challenges. Often, we can be so hard on ourselves. Many people blame themselves for their inadequacies and weaknesses. It’s as if they think that they are the only imperfect beings in the world. Often we can think that we are the only troubled person on the globe. But the reality is that we share our imperfection with every single human being born into this life. We all experience challenges and we are all vulnerable. Often the symptoms that we experience are a reaction to the sense that we make of these events more so than the events themselves. Sometimes we carry the pain too far. We can become engulfed by the crisis. It’s not that we shouldn’t be vulnerable. It’s not that we shouldn’t experience symptoms. Indeed, symptoms are very often so understandable considering the challenges that we experience. But we need to embrace the imperfection of the journey, the imperfection of all our fellow beings and crucially our own imperfection.
We need to invest more in a compassion for ourselves. We need to seek out what is right about ourselves as a well as what is wrong. We need to focus more on the gift of today and not park ourselves in the past – and not allow our past failures to rule out the potential of future successes. This is our precious life and we are entitled to the best possible life no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in.
Last Saturday, I delivered a one-day seminar in Dublin on self-compassion. It was probably the most powerful material that I have delivered in my career. I hope that it helped those people who created a space for it in their busy lives. This Saturday (13th July) I am delighted to deliver the same seminar in Sligo. However, as a former teacher I wish I had been teaching this material in schools. It’s such a pity that we keep the best psychology in storage for people who take the hits in life. It has such a crucial role to play in sowing the seeds of mental wellness and offering pathways to greater happiness too.
A special one-day seminar with Shane Martin on simple yet powerful practices that can be incorporated into your life to help break the cycle of anxiety, stress, unhappiness and exhaustion
Fee: €45 inclusive of lunch, CD and materials.
Limited places. Book as soon as possible by emailing your name and address to firstname.lastname@example.org Or phone 086-7921804