When loved ones are going through some challenges and they confide in you, do you try to comfort and soothe them? Or do you roll your eyes and make them feel like they are unworthy and that they deserve to go through these hardships? I am hoping it would be the first one. Adding in a warm hug would be nice too.
If we can be compassionate to our family and friends, why is it so hard to do the same to ourselves? Why do we always like to put ourselves down? I believe it’s because we have been so used to self-criticism, that being compassionate to ourselves sounds foreign.
“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.” – Jack Kornfield
Self-compassion is just like compassion towards other people. It is treating yourself as you would a loved one when they are going through a difficult time. Self-compassion is being kind, gentle, understanding, and accepting of yourself, regardless if you’ve been great or miserable. It is about not judging yourself when you fail or make mistakes. It is believed that self-compassion can be good for one’s resilience to be able to cope with tough times. It can decrease feelings of anxiety, depression, shame, and inadequacy as well.
Although I may be all about self-love, I can still be my own harshest critic. Setting high standards for myself has always been the norm, ever since I was a child, and I would feel bad when I fall below my own expectations. The key thing is to give myself permission to fail and be imperfect, because it is inevitable. I should consciously allow myself to be human and give myself some room to rest, breathe, and be unproductive once in a while. Easier said than done, and it is a skill that can be slow to learn. But being mindful of how I speak to myself is one of the first steps towards learning self-compassion. So yes, be kind, not just to others, but to yourself as well. You deserve it. 💜