What's Our Beef With Self Compassion?
“Oh How I Love Thee…but not so much me”
There’s one thing I have become aware of more and more through my wise ole years… And that is, that we are often well-skilled, swift and generous at showing compassion to those around us but are pretty damn slack when it comes to extending the same acts of kindness to ourselves.
So what gives? Why do we not see fit to offer ourselves the same gentle gestures of allowing the time in our days, the warmth in our hearts and the nurturing words and actions that we deliver so freely to others?
Time? For many people it’s the old “Never enough hours in the day” scenario where there is limited time to get all of their required tasks done that they have little time left over to spend on themselves?
For others, there’s the long held belief and fear of others’ beliefs that any level of self compassion is self indulgent.
And for some, it’s just not really something we’ve ever been aware of til well into our adult lives when we realise we could probably do with a bit of work on the old self-love front.
Sometimes we are our own worst enemies, and let’s face it – no one likes bullying so it makes no sense that we sometimes feel inclined to beat ourselves up. The language we use on ourselves is equally as important as that which we use on others and we need to learn to stop the self-criticism and just be a little (or a lot in some cases) kinder to ourselves.
I don’t know anyone who would benefit from looking in the mirror and saying “Wow – you look really ugly today” or “Seriously dude – you are so stupid!” and I’m sure we’re all guilty of having moments where we utter similar statements in our heads or actually out loud.
Come on – you can’t tell me you haven’t gotten to the flip-side of Christmas at any stage, looked down at your tight jeans and thought “Man! Who ate all the pies?!”
These words can all have a negative effect on your mood, confidence, spirit for your day, week, month, sometimes year ahead.
I challenge you instead – next time when you’re checking yourself out in the mirror in that favourite hat you just rediscovered at the bottom of your overcrowded drawer (side note – let’s table those clutter issues for another day) to say “Yep – that’s a bit cute!”.
Own it! Trust me – just try it. No-one’s looking and what have you got to lose? The win is that you walk out the door without the unnecessary self-criticism and the last thing you heard was something nice. You’ve successfully filled your head with awesome positive thoughts for the day.
As you launch yourself into 2016, “Go forth and love thyself crazy!”
P.S. I rock! A really cool chick who looked just like me told me so this morning. Just sayin’….
“This is a moment of suffering. Suffering is part of life. May I be kind to myself in this moment; may I give myself the compassion that I need”.
– Kristin Neff, associate professor of human development at the University of Texas and pioneer of research on self-compassion .