Self-compassion – What is it?
- Love of self just as you are
- Empathy towards oneself
- Acts of Kindness towards yourself
- Nonjudgmental in all you do
- Self-acceptance with all that you are
Self-compassion supports and regenerates you physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually developing emotional resilience and a sense of wellbeing.
“I am here to argue that one of the most important influential factors to sustain good health is being consistent with a daily practice of self-compassion through self-care”.
All through life we are taught the value and benefits of extending compassion to others but too often, when it comes to extending compassion to ourselves, for example with daily self-care, the message is somehow construed as selfish, self-centered, extravagant or a luxury.
Why do we choose to value more in the belief that the more you sacrifice yourself equals the bigger reward (whatever that is for you) versus the more you care and nurture yourself the bigger the reward?
For example, Why is it we use our basic comfort as a reward and many times, we don’t even realize we’re doing it. For instance, when you are in the middle of work, you’ll postpone eating lunch, even if your very hungry. Not that eating lunch isn’t exactly a “reward,” but that’s what it becomes. The carrot at the end of the stick. But if you took the time to refuel yourself, (this would be the self-compassion / self care part folks) your work would probably come a lot easier.
How did that happen? A better question might be why would any of us practice that belief? It seems mainstream thought process is that the true dedicated parent, worker, boss etc. is exhibited only if they are overextended, stressed, frazzled and anxiety ridden (and simultaneously trying to act like your not any of those things). It is exhausting!!! And if you are “that person” who does put self-compassion / self-care first and foremost in your life it should be by all means not spoken out loud to anyone! Unless it is accompanied by your words of “struggle” or “stress” or “stealing” some time for yourself, then it is so much more socially acceptable. Of note, when and if you share your acts of self compassion or self care they are usually only be spoken in the tone of a confession, “Bless me Father for I have sinned I took some time for myself”. Thereby prompting the act of being granted absolution in the eyes of your audience because the self-care was shrouded with words like struggle, stress and stealing. Listen to the words we choose!
Why is this? Denying ourselves acts of self care we fail not only ourselves but we fail others in our lives (most of the time the ones closest to us) because we are depleted! How many occasions have you come up short providing comfort, encouragement, unconditional love, compassion, patience, empathy, sympathy, being fully present, excited, enthusiastic, fully focused, interested or listening whole-heartedly to your partner, son, daughter, friend, parent, who really needed you in a moment and you were not fully present. Those emotions that I just listed are gifts that you have to possess in order to give. And you only possess those gifts if you nurture and attend to them daily. You may think it was not very noticeable to the other person but you are kidding yourself. Energetically, that person on the other end of your depleted self felt it, internalized it and walked away knowing it. Every cell in their body now has an energetic memory of that interaction.Think about a time when you were talking to an overwhelmed person they answered appropriately but when you walked away you said to yourself “they didn’t hear a word I said”. Yeah … remember that feeling in your gut? Not very good feeling huh?
Well, deep down inside you know you came up short too in that moment. You missed the mark. And you think to yourself, or at least you hope they didn’t notice or you will make it up to them another time. Really???? If that time wasn’t today or in that very moment, when will it be? You get the chance to live every, single, solitary moment only once. When it comes to time there are no “do overs”. Tic-tok, tic-tok…….
Now, that I have filled you with despair and dread … Let me pick you up, help you shake it off and point you towards the light of self accountability, self love, self compassion and self care.
Try this belief on for size ….
Self-care isn’t a reward. It is a way of living that incorporates behaviors that help you refresh yourself, replenish your personal motivation, and grow as a person. It is a vital part of maintaining good health and a vibrant life.
By Increasing and nurturing your self-compassion through self care you create an energy field that elevates your personal vibration to a higher pitch. Like that vibrant person with the magnetic personality that seems to draw people effortlessly, this higher state fosters positive emotions and more intelligent choices and beneficial outcomes.
When I am talking about self-care I am talking about consciously planning and taking time out for ourselves on a daily basis. Most of what I write about are acts of self care in increments of 10 minutes and we all struggle to do that! Ohhhhh what martyrs we are!
Nurturing your own mind, body and spirit is the perfect anecdote for the negative thoughts, emotions, beliefs or the antidote to some rude hurtful remark someone said to you. You naturally begin to feel surrounded by peace and resiliency and are able to view circumstances with greater clarity and a sense that although you may not be able to change things immediately, eventually, they will improve.
Over the last decade or so, research has consistently shown a positive correlation between self-compassion and psychological well-being. People who have self-compassion also have greater social connectedness, emotional intelligence, happiness, and overall life satisfaction. Self-compassion has also been shown to correlate with less anxiety, depression, shame, and fear of failure.
To begin self-care start small. There are 1440 minutes in a day. Take 10 of those minutes and do a mindful practice, Whatever that maybe for you. Now you have 1430 minutes left in your day. Seriously, look at those numbers. There are no excuses!
You want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
Remember you can only give what you have. You need to practice self-compassion through self care to nurture, grow and maintain the gifts of compassion to give to yourself as well as others.