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Excerpted from Self-Esteem by Matthew McKay and Patrick Fanning. Copyright © 2000 by Matthew McKay and Patrick Fanning. Excerpted by permission of New Harbinger Publications, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. HTML and web pages copyright © by SpiritSite.com.
 

"Be sure to maintain the basic thrust of the compassionate response: understanding, acceptance, forgiveness."

  Matthew McKay and Patrick Fanning,
Self-Esteem
, Part 5

The Compassionate Response

The compassionate response begins with three questions you should always ask yourself to promote an understanding of the problematic behavior.

1. What need was (he, she, I) trying to meet with that behavior?

2. What beliefs or awarenesses influenced the behavior?

3. What pain, hurt, or other feelings influenced the behavior?

Next come three statements to remind your self that you can accept a person with out blame or judgment, no matter how unfortunate his or her choices have been.

4. I wish _____ hadn't happened, but it was merely an attempt to meet (his, her, my) needs.

5. I accept (him, her, myself) with out judgment or feeling of wrongness for that attempt.

6. No matter how unfortunate (his, her, my) decision, I accept the person who did it as some one who is, like all of us, trying to survive.

Finally, two statements suggest that the slate can be wiped clean, that it is time to for give and let go of it.

7. It's over, I can let go of it.

8. Nothing is owed for this mistake.

Try to memorize this sequence. Make a commitment to use it when ever you notice that you are judging yourself or others. Revise it, if you wish, so that the language and suggestions feel right for you. But be sure to maintain the basic thrust of the compassionate response: understanding, acceptance, forgiveness.

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