"The Way To Do Is To Be.” ~Lao Tzu
Douglas Johns, LCSW
Portland, Oregon

Douglas Johns, LCSW

Compassion means "to suffer with". When we have compassion for someone we "feel" some of his pain. We identify, in some way, with another person's experience. True compassion is also self-compassion.

However, when I'm in pain I don't want to feel it. I don't want to suffer. I may try to withdraw from the pain in one way or another. Some people use drugs or alcohol to cover the pain. Perhaps we try not to think about it or we deny that it's there. To do so, however, is a subtle rejection of self. It is dissatisfaction with my experience of myself.

To deny my pain and suffering actually gives more weight and power to it. On the other hand, to accept my pain in this moment (without worry to the past or future experience of it) creates some space for me to just be who I am; to just be as I am. This is the beginning of self-compassion.

Self-compassion means accepting my experience of self at any particular moment with kindness and friendliness. I even accept my suffering as part of who I am in that moment. (Not all of who I am, just part of me.) I relate
with my pain rather than rejecting it. This is hard to do, of course, because we are so trained to reject pain and to discount ourselves when we feel it. However, self-compassion requires us to be intimate with our pain and suffering. We can learn to relate with our pain and suffering with tenderness.

Self-compassion is important for living a joyful life. When we are able to accept our own human experiences, and our individual human vulnerability, we calm the mind and create space to consciously decide how to live our lives from moment to moment. This ability allows us to be more fully present for ourselves; to be our own best friend. Self-compassion is the key to living your life with freedom.

Please call me with any questions you have at 503-252-3739.

Accessing this web site in no way constitutes an implied or explicit contract for services between Compassionate Enterprises, LLC or Douglas Johns and any person. Documents are for informal information purposes only. Please speak directly with a qualified professional regarding any specific health concerns you have. Douglas Johns, MSW, LCSW ~ 811 NW 20th Ave., Suite 304, Portland, Oregon 97209 ~ (503) 252-3739