If one has enough love to care, protect and save others’ lives from harm, the assumption is that such a person can save his/herself from sinking or from danger in life. Unfortunately, this is not always true; most people who show great empathy for others’ well-being are poor at extending this quality to themselves, especially in taking care of their mental health.
It seems it is easier caring for others or advising others than the other way. During my clinical placement in a psychiatric hospital, when we held group sessions with patients, as part of activities with the patients, we will ask patients to say something that they see in each other that they think will be helpful in the recovery of the other person. Patients could identify good qualities and offer encouraging words or messages beneficial to the other person’s recovery.
On the other hand, when patients were asked to identify something positive they see in themselves that could support their recovery, most patients could not determine any quality they see to help their recovery. The patients are not able to offer themselves the same support that they give to their friends.
The essential part of healing from trauma or any struggle is believing in yourself that you have the power to overcome it all. People can provide encouragement and support from all angles, but if one lacks confidence in themselves, the chances of overcoming any struggle or succeeding in life are very much limited.
It is critical that when we’re caring for others and seeing all the good in them, we also take time to realize this goodness in ourselves. We must learn to extend this love we give to others to ourselves.