The Importance of Self-Compassion

I’ve been going through a challenging time in my life as of late & I’ve been tough on myself. That voice in my head’s saying “lighten up or you’ll not enjoy the consequences.” Those consequences are a continued flow of stress, stress & more stress. That ain’t good, so isn’t it the way as Dr. Wayne Dwyer said “The teacher appears when the students ready.” So as things go in my life, I recently came across Dr. Kristin Neff’s website to delve deeper into the meaning & understanding of self-compassion.

As Dr. Neff explains that “having compassion for oneself is no different than having compassion for others. Think about what the experience of compassion feels like. First, to have compassion for others you must notice that they are suffering. The word compassion literally means to “suffer with.” When this occurs, you feel warmth, caring and the desire to help the suffering person in some way. Having compassion also means that you offer understanding and kindness to others when they fail or make mistakes, rather than judging them harshly. Finally, when you feel compassion for another you realize that suffering, failure, and imperfection is part of the shared human experience.”

Well, as you probably figured out, self-compassion is acting the same way towards yourself. In difficult times, I will stop beating up on myself. Banish that negative tape in my head and ask how to comfort & care for myself that will nurture me & make me feel better.

Dr. Neff says “instead of mercilessly judging and criticizing yourself for various inadequacies or shortcomings, self-compassion means you are kind and understanding when confronted with personal failings – after all, who ever said you were supposed to be perfect?”

Who in this room thinks they’re perfect, raise their hand? The only one that should be raising their hand is an insane monkey. As a professional organizer, I often experience clients that’s struggle so hard with their organizing challenges. I had clients that have commented that I must have it easier because I’m organized. I can understand that logic in the face of overwhelm. But believe me, I have many other challenges unrelated to organization. Don’t we all?

So the next time my brain switches on to that crazy tape that can only do harm, I will come into my office, turn on my lovely meditation music (which I’m listening to as I write this blog) & relax into it & let the music wash over me as I’m bathed in self-compassion.