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Self compassion... What is it?

About 2500 years ago Buddha talked about compassion being at the cornerstone of managing and coping with life's challenges and cultivating awareness. Terms like self compassion can become illusive to us and are hard to define. I describe self compassion as the ability to acknowledge what we have gone through, that it has caused us distress of some form, and offer ourselves love and kindness.

Often giving compassion to others can come very easily. However, showing ourselves the same level of support can feel like a big challenge. The resistance to giving ourselves support can be rooted in differing areas depending on the person and their life experience.

To start to offer self compassion can be a game changer in our perception of ourselves and the situation we are in. Our mind plays a big role in how we perceive our life and what is happening. How we talk to ourselves has a major impact on how we feel and how we behave.

For example, we might tell ourselves 'it's my own fault', "if I hadn't of...', 'I'm stupid..', 'I deserve this situation because..', 'I am a bad person', 'I'm not good enough..'.

The question is would you say those things to someone you love who is going through a challenging time? If not, what might you say to them?

By becoming aware of what our mind is telling us and starting to incorporate kindness and love in our internal dialogue can significantly improve how we perceive, feel and behave in any given situation. For example, telling ourselves 'I am doing the best I can..' 'this is a tough situation', 'I am good enough..', 'I am safe', ' I am lovable', might assist in reframing our experience of what is happening.

Incorporating self compassion into our lives means allowing ourselves to feel the emotions we have related to a situation and offer ourselves support and kindness in how we are feeling. This starts with really listening to our internal dialogue and noticing if how we speak to ourselves is with kindness and love or harshness and criticism. The latter may lead to us feeling worse about ourselves and adding more distress.

Taking time in your day to tune into your internal dialogue with curiosity and non-judgement will help you to become aware of how you speaks to yourself. The more awareness we have, the more choice we have in reframing our thought process and providing ourselves with love and kindness.

Take care and go well,


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