Self-compassion infers that we extend the kindness, the desire to help that we would offer a friend who was suffering, towards ourselves.
If we can offer this kindness almost effortlessly to others why is it so difficult to give ourselves?
Think about this:
🎧without intervention, we (unconsciously) play the tapes we uploaded from our childhood over and over again.
Childhood messages are so old and so rehearsed that they feel as factual, as much a part of us, as the blood running through our veins.
A few considerations as you consider self-compassion
➡️ If you were criticised by your parents, a coach, teacher, etc. you may have interjected those voices into your brain as your own.
➡️ Likewise, if your parents didn’t model self-compassion and positive self-talk, where would you have learned it from?
➡️ What are your thoughts about self-compassion? Are you afraid it will make you lazy or that you’ll miss ALL the mistakes you make?
➡️ Did you know that research proves that children actually succeed in tasks more when they practice and are offered compassion as opposed to self-criticism? That may sound like, “duh,” but think about how often you use some version of, “you are not doing it right” with yourself.
💪🏾💪🏼So how do we strengthen the self-compassion muscle?
Don’t worry, I gotcha! Try these:
1️⃣ Take a deep breath and let tension go. Notice the colors around you. Now, consider the beauty of the human family. The thing we all share is this humanity. We all have an unchanging core of Peace and Goodness and we all experience challenges and suffering. In other words, you are not uniquely bad or f’ed up. You are a precious child among precious children.
2️⃣ The self-critical voice that you hear is not the Real You. It is simply a part of you that, at one time, was developed as an attempt to get love and acceptance. It is time to begin seeing the self-critical part of you as a sort of “character” in your internal family. . . instead of who you are. The reason this particular voice is so loud is that you’ve practiced it a lot. (Remember: we grow what we focus on)
3️⃣ Bring self-awareness to this process. When you notice you are being hard on yourself consider allowing the loving parent part of yourself speak to the critical part. If there was a child crying in front of you, telling you how they messed up and they weren’t worth anything, what would you say?
4️⃣ You, my dear, are worthy of self-respect. It is never too late to develop gentleness, optimism and deep, abiding kindness towards yourself.
Listen, the more you open to loving yourself, the more you will be able to offer humanity and the more love and kindness you will draw to yourself.