chapter  21
8 Pages

Developing the compassionate self

It is important to discuss with people that we are basically pattern generators (Gilbert, 2009a) and that we can create many different patterns of brain activity in ourselves and then see these as different parts of ourselves (see Point 4). There is the pattern that emerges with anger that we can call the angry ``part'' or ``self''. The angry part of us thinks, feels and wants to act in a certain way. Or we might focus on the anxious pattern, or a ``being in love'' or a ``falling out of love'' pattern. We have thousands of different potential patterns within ourselves. Developing the compassionate self and the compassionate pattern can be key to helping deal with ``this multiplicity of mind'' and, of course, the unpleasant, dif®cult or harmful patterns (parts of self ) that arise in us. Compassion can have a soothing quality on anger and anxiety, but it will also help us develop courage to face these and learn how to tolerate them or act on them appropriately.