Welcome back empowered readers,
For this months empowered journal I wanted to discuss three ways that self-compassion leads to greater self-love.
Compassion is the ability to show sympathy and/or concern for the suffering or misfortunes of others. Throughout my own life’s journey, I can reflect on expressing compassion when I worked as a humanitarian in Nicaragua and provided support to impoverished children and sick and abandoned animals. But what about compassion for oneself? What does that look like?
Here are three ways to show self-compassion:
1.Self-Kindness NOT Self-Judgment
Self-compassion means understanding that life is about making mistakes, failing and sometimes falling short of your own expectations. When you fail, make a mistake or feel inadequate you can practice self-compassion by being warm and understanding toward yourself instead of ignoring your pain or criticizing yourself. It’s ironic to think that it is so much easier to show compassion to others, but ultimately can be a struggle to show compassion to oneself. However, when you practice self-compassion, you can accept your reality with kindness. This can lead to experiencing greater emotional calmness.
2.Shared Human Experience NOT Isolation
“Life” can be the greatest test of all, especially when plans abruptly change due to unexpected developments. Sometimes when this happens, you can be left feeling like you are the only one suffering or making mistakes and feelings of isolation can develop. When practicing self-compassion during these times, recognize that suffering and personal inadequacy are part of the collective human experience.
Every single person undergoes pain and suffering at different times in their lives, but being self-compassionate means that you understand that this isn’t something that happens to you alone. That you are not alone. That it is part of the human experience.
3.Reflection NOT Over-Identification
Feelings come and go. And it is important to show willingness about observing your thoughts, emotions and feelings with openness. In order to be self-compassionate, one must develop a balanced approach to gaining perspective about ones situation. When you become “over-identified” with your thoughts and feelings, it is important to not get caught up and swept away by negative reactivity. Instead, identify your feelings, recognize them for what they are and treat them as visitors.
Research has been shown that you can increase the habit of self-compassion through practice. You read that right, you can learn to be self compassionate. Don’t be afraid to seek help from a counsellor, psychologist or outpatient provider.
To your empowered wellness,