Self compassion. It's an easy concept to understand and a difficult one to master.
Self compassion is to accept your feelings, no matter what they are. It is to treat yourself with the same kindness, care and compassion as you would a friend
You lost your temper at a friend.
You might say to yourself "Ugh you're so stupid! She's already going through so much, why did you yell at her?!"
Now imagine someone else in your situation. How would you comfort them?
You might say "Hey, you're human, we all lose our tempers sometimes. It sucks that you upset her, but you recognised your actions were wrong and you apologised. I'm proud of you for that. Everything is going to be okay"
If you talk to someone else with such love and compassion, why can't you talk to yourself the same way?
All my life, I've been rather tough on myself.
When I was upset, my parents would tell me "You're sad? You shouldn't be. Your life is really good". It's true. My life is good. I have shelter, water, food and an education. That's good. So I should never be sad, right? Wrong. I'm human. That means I will feel upset at times. And that's okay.
My parents taught me to suppress. Suppression and a lack of counselling have been big themes of my life.
And they have hurt me. When I suppress, I carry what's hurting me. It weighs my shoulders inwards. It tips my chin down as I walk. It pulls my eyes towards the floor. I would feel sad then suddenly I'd remember: "I shouldn't feel sad. My life is good. Others have it worse" I would remind myself of that, but the low feeling wouldn't go away.
So, I started scolding myself: "stop feeling sad!". It worked here and there but when I would feel those glitches of negativity rise up again, I repeated the scoldings. I started disliking myself for being upset. I started negative self talk "stop being upset, you're so weak!". I became my own critic. I didn't accept my feelings.
And it became so self-destructive. I couldn't uphold a healthy relationship with anyone because I couldn't even handle my own negative emotions. How could I handle rejection from anyone else?
I noticed this pattern in my relationships, so I started reading a book to help me break this pattern. My focus was to change my relationships for the better and the first thing the book focused on for that, was self-compassion.
And it's hard. It's so bloody hard. It's hard to treat yourself well when you fuck up, when your flaws are in full display. But it's so important. And I'm still learning that.
With this blog, I want to share what I've learnt. I want to share what I'm still learning. And I want to share what I have yet to learn. The best writers are relatable. And relatable people aren't afraid to show their 'imperfections'.
I don't want to be another fashion/beauty blogger and Instagrammer who seems like they have the perfect skin, perfect hair and perfect life. I want to become a writer who isn't afraid to show that she is still learning. Who lets you know that she is just like you. So chin up buttercup, we're in this journey of self-compassion together
For more information and exercises on self compassion, I recommend the following:
You can also get an audible account and download it for free as your first book!
I also recommend:
As I said, I have yet to learn more about self-compassion and would love more information. If you have any information on self-esteem and self-compassion feel free to share it below or e-mail me. You never know whose life you might be helping.