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Well let’s see, am I self-compassionate or not? Am I kind to myself? Sometimes I am & sometimes I’m tough on myself. I have to self-mantra “only say nice things about yourself” inside my head. I grew up with parents that were loving towards me & my three brothers. They were always there for us. My Mom was a hugger & a great one at that. That’s were I get my great hugging skills. Anyway, my parents showed us love, but I don’t specifically remember being taught self-compassion. But I do know I possess such a behavior.

Self-compassion refers to a way we relate to ourselves with kindness and self-love. Don’t confuse this with being arrogant or conceited. These behaviors would show a lack of self-love.

Psychologist Kristin Neff  wrote that “self-compassion involves acting the same way towards yourself when you are having a difficult time, fail, or notice something you don’t like about yourself. Instead of just ignoring your pain with a “stiff upper lip” mentality, you stop to tell yourself “this is really difficult right now,” how can I comfort and care for myself in this moment?”

I know when I’m having a difficult time. I do try to take care of as much as I can without burdening others, but I don’t try to have “a stiff upper lip.” I’ll ask for help when I know I need it. I do try to treat myself the same in good times or bad. I try to banish negative self-talk as much as possible. Always working on banishing more.

In my work as a professional organizer, I work with clients that struggle with complex mental health issues. They also struggle with self-compassion. They talk negatively about themselves. Especially about the state of their home & their clutter. My thinking is that clutter doesn’t define us as good or bad. It’s a circumstance. How can this circumstance change? What if it doesn’t change, does that mean a person doesn’t deserve self love. Maybe that person needs more love, to self & that given by others. That person definitely needs compassion & understanding from themselves & others.

Before judging someone that’s got deep emotional problems that manifest as severe clutter, can you ask how you can help in some way? That might be all that person wants to hear. Whatever, it could be the beginning of a helpful dialog.

Let’s pass some compassion around…