With self-compassion, we give ourselves the same kindness and care we'd give to a good friend. This is different from self-esteem--which is how we view our own value or how much like we like ourselves. Even if we believe all humans deserve compassion, some of us tend to deny ourselves that same kindness. Most of us do this on some level. But continually denying ourselves self-love and grace becomes very problematic and even toxic over time.
Self-compassion is practicing goodwill and understanding towards ourselves, not aiming for constant good feelings. Although alleviating our pain is a goal, we can't always control our atmosphere. Rather than suppressing or battling our pain, when we exercise self-compassion we mindfully accept the moment is painful, respond with care and kindness, and recognize that our own imperfections are part of the shared human experience.
Challenging at first, we can be surprised by the pain that initially seeps from applying self-compassion. Referred to as "backdraft"--when a fire that has consumed all available oxygen explodes when more oxygen is made available (e.g. from opening a door in a burning house).
"When we give ourselves unconditional love, we discover the conditions under which we were unloved." (-Kristin Neff) But we can meet old pain with self compassion and mindfulness. And eventually our heart begins to heal. ❤
Contact Aspire Counseling and Wellness for more tips to guide you along this journey. 770-304-6672, www.aspirenewnan.com
Source: Center for Mindful Self Compassion. Adapted by Aspire Counseling and Wellness