05 Oct Self compassion can be the hardest thing
What are these strange concepts of self-love, self kindness and compassion?
Let’s distinguish this from what it’s not – narcissism; self-indulgence; perpetuation of victimhood.
Being loving towards ourselves is choosing the kinder, more compsssionste way to talk to ourselves and treat ourselves, rather than continuing to be our own worst critic, listening to the ever-growing list of all the flaws, and feeling swamped by the seemingly unattainable desire to just feel ok.
We start the day with high hopes and when life happens, anything short of our perfectionist hopes becomes a point of self effacement, inner criticism, feeling flawed and inadequate, and overall rating our day as shitty. Or we can try to compensate for falling short with means of avoidance or substances, almost automatically spiralling our day into an even less wanted direction. I used to use food and alcohol as means to escape my feelings about my day, and before long it was as if I’d unconsciously, on autopilot, make my days worse by mistreating my body.
The pain of it is, we tend to think lowly of ourselves unless we’ve achieved the latest thing, or are actively accomplishing something we think will being us happiness/satisfaction. There’s always the chase, the hustle, the doing, pushing, striving and forcing. We’re only as good as our most recent success, they say.
My clients have had moments where they follow a meal by berating themselves about what they ate. They hate themselves if they haven’t made an intended phone call. Or they think they’re a poor friend if they haven’t carved out as much time as their friend urgently needed.
What would it look like if they approached those same events with the compassion and kindness?
No, it wouldn’t be a ticket to do nothing at all, unless that’s exactly what we need. It would look more like:
-tuning into how they feel about what they just ate, and connnecting with what would have been the most self-loving choice instead
-seeing any reasons for resistance and changing those, or maybe reassessing the need to make the phone call
-keeping our own boundaries to preserve our sanity, and helping friends out within that.
We have the chance to fully be in a place, undivided. To fully be with our actions, to back our choices. To stand by ourselves and not need to self criticise, or explain and justify. To be in integrity, kindness, compassion, to be in sync with our values.
So instead of hosting another pity party or replaying the self loathing mixed tape in our minds, let’s choose with love.
What would we choose so as to treat ourselves kinder, more compassionately?
What would someone who loves us unconditionally choose for us?
How can we be this for ourselves?
For more ideas on how you can choose with love, sign up for my free self-love course.