Have you ever felt alone in your suffering? Like you were the only one having sleepless nights worrying about life happenings? That you were the only one feeling so depressed that you could not get out of bed? Well, you are not alone. These experiences are part of our humanness. It is easy to lose sight of this in a world that denies our emotional experiences. When someone asks “how are you?” we often reply “good” when this may not be the case. There is an expectation to keep our concerns to ourselves. This may lead us to believe that we are alone in our suffering when we really are not.
Dr. Kristen Neff, a psychologist pioneering research on self-compassion, put it eloquently when she said “…it is what we think isolates us that actually connects us.” It is common to feel isolated in our sufferings, but there are commonalities in them that we all experience. We all have self-defeating thoughts, we all have highs and lows, and we all feel lost at times, to name a few. This sentiment is not meant to invalidate the idiosyncrasies of how people experience their mental health concerns and diagnoses, but rather to elucidate the shared fallibility we all have as human beings and that it is okay to be ‘flawed’.
I concede that fallibility is a “beautiful thing” because to accept that we are innately flawed is powerfully liberating. It makes space for self-kindness; allowing ourselves to feel sad, to have anxiety, to “mess up”, and to recognize that it is part of the human condition. It is okay to be human and we should be kinder to ourselves for being so.
Derek Cozzi, Counseling Intern, BA, M.Ed Counselling Psychology (candidate)