Why We Need To Practice Self-Compassion
This blog is intended to help those who need to forgive themselves for being anything ‘less than’. Forgiving our injustices towards ourselves. We set the bar so high for ourselves, don’t you think? And, I know, you could say that’s a good thing. But, the issue here is we often set it too high. Just, just out of reach. And, we set ourselves up for repeated disappoint because of this. This is where the need to practice self-compassion comes in.
Let’s start with What Self-Compassion Is
Self-compassion is a process of uncovering, understanding and accepting what we deem to be our faults or failings. It is about peeling back the emotional layers of why we cannot forgive ourselves for our short comings, and working through them, gently. Like all aspects of ourselves, to be able to forgive we have to first understand. And, to understand, we have to listen to our own side of the story.
When we feel that someone else has wronged us our feelings are strong, very much at the forefront of our minds. When we feel we have wronged ourselves it can be more of a subconscious, under the surface, emotion that we don’t necessarily even know is there. It becomes one of those emotions that aren’t dealt with, that we carry around with us. So, the first step is to recognize the blame and then start the process of forgiveness. Let me start by asking, did the thought cross your mind ‘I don’t need to forgive myself for anything.’? Let me assure you, you do.
Identifying Areas of Blame
Self blame can be present in so many areas of your life. You blame yourself when you haven’t gotten the raise or promotion you wanted. Or, you blame yourself because you haven’t got the house and 2.5 kids by the approved of age. The weight, the argument with the husband, the constant over spending. There are a hundred things we subconsciously blame ourselves for every day. We don’t give ourselves a break. But, do you even realize you are doing this to yourself? Take a moment and consider where you are beating yourself up. Look at scenarios where you blame yourself for not being good enough. These are the areas where you need to practice some self-love, kindness and self-compassion.
Here are some questions to identify where you might need to forgive:
Do I allow myself to make mistakes?
Why is it so important to be right?
Can I find ways to improve the results I’m not happy with?
What will happen if the outcome is different to what I expected?
Try to get to the bottom of why you make little things into big things. There is always an underlying emotion influencing the way you are treating yourself. The key is to understand it and work through it with compassionately.
Know that you are a pure and perfect soul living in a non-perfect body, and that’s okay! You are holding yourself up against a non-existent measure of perfection. There is no such thing as perfect! So, instead of thinking ‘why is everyone else getting it right and I’m so wrong’ realize not one single person on this earth, ever, has lived a perfect life.
Our flaws are part of our unique beauty and what should be keeping us connected in an understanding of each other, instead of splitting us apart. So, be more tolerant of your own shortcomings. You are part of a very large club of imperfect beings! Welcome!
Know that we are all in the process of learning and growing, until the day we die. Forgive yourself for not being an overnight success or taking longer than expected to achieve your goals. Any area of your life where you feel you need improvement needs to be treated with patience. If you are struggling, be patient with your emotions. Give yourself the time to work through how you are feeling, and why. Beating up on yourself will only put pressure that will have more negative effects.
Shall I remind you that Rome wasn’t built in a day? Neither is the most ‘perfect’ version of you! You are crafted over time and through your experiences. When you see that, you can start getting excited about your growth. Understand that your faults, instead of being unforgiveable, are part of the learning process that will lead to a stronger version of you. And, remember to exercise just a little bit of patience.
Detox from Judgement
Just like judging others is hurtful and counter-productive, the same goes for judging yourself. Why did I react like that, or why do I always get it wrong? Why am I so useless at sticking to my exercise routine? These are judgements and they hurt. Reign yourself in whenever you catch yourself being judgmental towards yourself.
Learning to tune in to the negative comments in your head will help you tame the monster. Put it in it’s place the next time you hear it. Tell it where to get off! You are human, you are not perfect and you make mistakes. But, you can learn from them! When you’ve told that monster off, come back and speak kindly to yourself. Pick yourself up and forgive yourself for letting the monster take over.
Be Forgiving of your Weaknesses
This is pretty much a follow through for the Judgement Detox. This is really about knowing that you have weaknesses, accepting that that is normal and being patient with yourself when you show signs of weakness. For example if you are a very impatient person you notice when you are triggered, acknowledge this as an area you know you need to work on and then work through the emotion instead of becoming angry with yourself.
Write out a list of your ‘weaknesses’ and the situations that provoke them. Then, ask yourself why you are triggered. We cannot work on our ‘weaknesses’ if we don’t know what is triggering them, so start there. A note here: being triggered does not place the blame on the other party. You are the one being triggered, so you need to figure out what you are struggling with.
You Deserve Self-Compassion
I may not know or understand your particular situation, but what I do know is that anyone who tells themselves they don’t ‘deserve’ to be forgiven is hurting. That means you care. And that means that you need to practice self-compassion more than ever. Look inside your heart for a moment and see the person that doesn’t deserve to be treated like a failure. See that when you practice self-compassion and kind words you will bring out the best in yourself. And, remember, at the end of the day you need to be your own best friend and cheerleader. Why? Because, through the good and bad and everything in between, you are the only one who is with you through it all. Thank yourself for that!
If you want to fly, give up everything that weighs you down. -Buddha
If you enjoyed reading this check out my blog published on Purpose Fairy: The Importance of Self Love and How to Cultivate It
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