Most of us have heard or read about the topics: self love, honoring our inner child and self nurturing, but we still listen to our inner critic berating us for the mistakes we’ve made, our imperfections, unrealized dreams, messy lives, broken relationships and on and on.
In my work I’ve discovered that being kind and compassionate with ourselves not only makes us feel better, but more importantly it allows us to become more mindful and aware that we are NOT alone; everyone struggles!
What is self compassion?
It is the willingness to feel pain not push it away, FEEL it and then move THROUGH it. This practice involves learning to relax and allow you to move gently your fears. The trick is to stay with our emotions but not attaching ourselves to them. A good question to ask yourself; “What would I say to someone I love right now?”
Imagine you see someone fall in a parking lot; you would immediately want to help that person and treat them with genuine concern and respect.
Now imagine YOU fall in a parking lot – you may immediately start hearing your inner critic say “you idiot!” or “stupid shoes” or “OMG I look like such a jerk, I hope no one sees me!” Am I right?
When we begin to interrupt our destructive thinking habits it awakens our heart, NOTICING what we are saying to ourselves is the first sign of awareness!
I certainly do not have all the answers, but I am sure that learning to have self compassion is so worth the time and effort it takes. There are many ways to learn this and it takes practice.
A good mantra is “I am bigger than my thoughts and emotions!” Drop the internal drama!
This is not about self pity or victimhood; it is about self-kindness, acceptance and responsibility. If something happens to you that’s difficult like losing a client, or having a child who is in trouble – it’s important to know that we are all human beings – your client who acted like a “jerk” the “other child” who caused your child’s problems and yourself for simply being a human being having human problems.
Lastly, so much of the pain we feel is because we can’t let go of how we think life should look, our minds think it knows the best way for our life to work out, but it truly doesn’t!
Your mind can only see what is showing up right now, there is a much bigger picture! Noticing and accepting how things are right now is very healing and powerful,, be courageous and try it!
Here’s a link to a great self compassion test you can take by Kristen Neff. If you take the test, let me know what your score is and how this idea has made you think.