Compassion is what you feel when you see someone hurting and your heart breaks for them and you want to help. Self-compassion is turning that same feeling on yourself. Self-compassion is what you most need to heal yourself.
Nobody can grow while they’re being mowed down
You may have turned on yourself and berated yourself, beat yourself up, called yourself names, and the like. Others may have said demeaning things to you or done soul-crushing things things to you and, instead of looking at those things as a character flaw in them, you internalized their voices and actions. Maybe all that negative stuff plays in a loop inside your head.
Just know this: what you think about becomes what you believe (because beliefs are just thoughts you’ve had over and over again). And you always (always, always) live out what you believe because your beliefs are what drive your all your actions.
You cannot ever grow if you’re cutting yourself down. That’s why you need to practice self-compassion.
Self-compassion by being kind to yourself
The best way to be kind to yourself is to practice self-care.
Self-care is something you do voluntarily that nurtures you in some way. Self-care is not something you force on yourself or do because somebody else wants you to.
The best way you can be kind to yourself is to find things that make you feel nourished and supported and go do them for yourself. That’s especially true if you’re going through a hard time.
There’s no one-size-fits-everybody when it comes to self-care. Whatever it looks like to you—maybe a long walk or a bubble bath or 10 minutes to yourself— you’re worth taking the time to care for yourself and be kind to yourself.
Self-compassion by being gentle with yourself
The easiest way to be gentle with yourself is to speak strength to yourself and tell yourself words you need to hear.
It’s not others’ voices that matter most for your well-being; it’s your own voice and what you’re staying to and about yourself. You know what you’re going through at any given moment so what words would most help you right then?
- Channel the kindest person you know when you speak those words to yourself.
- Use a gentle voice when you do it.
- Use terms of endearment like honey, sweet pea, darlin.
- Whatever words will make you feel comforted, that’s what you need to say to yourself.
Self-compassion by being patient with yourself
You’re going to make mistakes no matter what you do. You’re human so it’s okay.
So be patient with:
- yourself as you’re learning
- any process you’re going through
- patient with the journey you’re on.
Look, I realize that patience is the strong suit of almost no one, but patience really will serve you well in your life.
It really is a practice and you’ll get better at it the more you do it. You’ve got your whole life to make it to where you want to be so you don’t have to be in a rush to get there.
And I assure you, you’ll have a much more relaxing journey if you’ll just cultivate some patience with yourself along the way.
How will you practice self-compassion?