Mindfulness: Becoming your own best friend

How many of you out there would say that you are “your own worst enemy”? If you answered “yes!” you are in good company. Our ‘inner critic’ with all of its judging, comparing, and striving can creep into everything we do, especially into how we relate to ourselves when we experience moments of bothersome tinnitus and hyperacusis. Left unchecked, our minds can go down some very dark tinnitus roads. You may catch yourself thinking such things as:

“I must have done something to deserve this.”
“How come I’m the only one I know that has tinnitus?”
“Bad things always happen to me.”
“I’m so weak. Why can’t I just be done with it?”
“Just my luck—I get tinnitus.”
“My tinnitus is back. Here’s proof that I’ll never get rid of this.”
“It’s my fault, I should have taken better care of my hearing when I was younger.”

And on and on the list goes…

We began this course emphasizing how we may bring curiosity, openness, acceptance, and compassion to our moment to moment experience with tinnitus. As you become more skilled in your practice, perhaps you begin to notice changes in how you not only relate to tinnitus, but how you relate to ‘your self’ as a whole. Do you catch your ‘inner critic’ being overly judgmental in some other area of your life? Perhaps you can bring awareness to the full gamut of these well-worn, destructive, mental habits? Perhaps you can bring awareness to how you might be comparing yourself (favorably or unfavorably) to others? Just the awareness itself of the mind’s habits is the tool that opens the door to changing a knee-jerk reaction into a ‘life-affirming’ response. As you bring radical awareness to the habits of the mind, you may begin to see a shift from being your ‘own worst enemy’ to being the kind-hearted and compassionate friend that is our best-self.

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