I’m going to be over-the-top typical in this blog and start with a definition.

Why?

Well because this topic is one that promotes at lot of misgivings, misconceptions, and excuses that I don’t want permeating this discussion.

Let me put it another way. When you have mouthwatering chocolate you don’t put nasty peanut butter on it.
You take that yummy treat straight up and forget how many calories are in it.

Definition: Self-compassion is extending compassion to one’s self in instances of perceived inadequacy, failure, or general suffering. Dr. Kristin Neff has defined self-compassion as being composed of three main components – self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness.

“For some reason, we are truly convinced that if we criticize ourselves, the criticism will lead to change. If we are harsh, we believe we will end up being kind. If we shame ourselves, we believe we end up loving ourselves. It has never been true, not for a moment that shame leads to love. Only love leads to love.” Geneen Roth

Having self-compassion means to honor and accept your own humanness and accept that in life, you will encounter a number of unfortunate circumstances, sometimes where you’re the one at fault. Self-compassion is having grace for oneself.

People with self-compassion:

• Procrastinate less. Compared to those who try to use guilt, shame, or fear as motivators to complete a project or goal, the ones who practice self-compassion are the ones who spend less time dragging their feet when it comes time to perform a task.
• Re-engage after failure. Those who are accepting and caring towards themselves after a perceived or real failure will be much more likely to “get back on the horse” and keep going.
• Take on more accountability. Contrary to what some might assume, self-compassion does not relieve someone of their ownership of a problem; rather, self-compassion actually serves to assist someone in being able to make a more realistic assessment of the role they played in problem process.
• Are open to feedback. Those who are more compassionate with themselves will not crumble if they receive feedback from others. This is because those who practice self-compassion know they have inherent value and abilities to recover— even if the feedback is not positive.

“Be gentle first with yourself if you wish to be gentle with others.” Lama Yeshe

Self-compassion creates a caring space within you that is free of judgment—a place that sees your hurt and your failures and softens to allow those experiences with kindness and caring.

For many of us, self-compassion is a brand new concept. It is not something that is usually modeled or taught in our childhood or even in our adult lives.

When our inner voice continually criticizes and berates us we end up feeling worthless, incompetent and insecure, and we often end up in negative cycles of self-sabotage and self-harm. However, when our inner voice plays the role of a supportive friend we can – when we notice some personal failing – feel safe and accepted enough to both see ourselves clearly and make the changes needed for us to be healthier and happier.

Self-Compassion is being kind and understanding when confronted with personal failings, honoring and accepting your humanness: comprised of self-kindness, common humanity and mindfulness. Self- compassion is valuing one’s own pursuit of happiness and aversion towards suffering, and behaving in accordance with those values; transforming negative thought habits, attitudes, emotional biases.

Self-Compassion is NOT: ‘self-indulgence’, ‘feeling sorry for the self’ or ‘self-pity’ or ‘ruminating on personal entitlement, i.e. what the self lacks or deserves’. Self-compassion is sort of a paradox as it is not really about focusing on the self, but about considering oneself as one of the sentient beings among all others towards which it is worthy to dedicate one’s own energy to the avoidance of suffering and promotion of happiness.

Awe… Yummy! Can’t you just taste all that divine chocolaty goodness?

Self-compassion is a major component of learning to genuinely appreciate yourself which is part of the Restoration component in The Euphoric Life Journey.

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