“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” – The Buddha
Self-compassion is giving yourself compassion when you feel unlovable, inadequate or just plain awful. There are times when self-compassion feels miles away, out of sight and certainly out of mind. At these times having self-compassion, self-kindness, care and empathy toward yourself are critical.
Self-compassion happens when we are kind and gentle with ourselves after overextending ourselves, when we haven’t done something perfectly or when we have, perhaps, lashed out in anger. It even happens in moments when we are simply feeling afraid.
How do we begin this practice of loving kindness toward ourselves? The first step is looking inward by being the compassionate observer. What would it look like if you were comforting a dear friend who was struggling? Can you be that supportive friend to yourself? Offer yourself words of encouragement. Check in on yourself, and observe the language you use toward yourself. Is that how you would talk with a friend who is suffering? Loving kindness goes a long way in overcoming so many of the struggles we experience in life.
Giving ourselves the gift of self-acceptance and self-forgiveness is powerful medicine. Dr. Kristian Neff, Ph.D., a leading authority on self-compassion, suggests self-compassion is connected with wisdom, happiness, life satisfaction, well-being and optimism. Imagine, feel and sense what a difference it would make if you were to simply sit with what is right here and right now. Simply accept, forgive and think kindly of yourself.
This is an enchanting time of year when nature is stretching its limbs, and flowers grow strong and beautiful. This can be a time of growth for you as well. It is time to begin a new practice, a practice of being your own supportive friend and a friend who stands with you filled with love, compassion and words of encouragement.
Three Ways to Support Yourself in Self-Compassion:
- Be kind and understanding to yourself.
- Use self-talk that is encouraging.
- Eat when you are hungry and sleep when you are tired.
Three Keys to Self-Compassion
- Show yourself the same care and compassion you would a friend.
- Be with what is in the present moment (what we resist persists).
- Have awareness that we are all humans, which means we are not perfect.
“The Proven Power of Being Kind to Your Self: Self-Compassion” by Kristian Neff Ph.D.
Carolyn Paris works with high performers who are “up to something.” As an executive consultant and coach, she works with people that are achievers, however: they feel there’s something missing. It could be more balance, power or satisfaction they are striving to obtain. Carolyn supports people in the aspects that are missing, so they can be more successful. The remainder of the time you may find Carolyn riding her bike on the trail, scuba diving in beauty oceans or, her favorite, playing with her grandson.