Self-Compassion is simply showing ourselves the same kindness we would show a friend or stranger.
Pretty simple, right? Why then, is this so hard to practice sometimes?
Self-Compassion can look like taking yourself out on a date to a museum, drinking your favorite cup of tea, eating a salad instead of a cheeseburger (but's sometimes, IT IS eating the cheeseburger, being clear on the intention is what counts), getting exercise, forgiveness, positive self-talk, setting boundaries, pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone...
Self-Compassion can look different for every person, depending on the situation, etc. The purposeful intent behind the actions we take to care for our selves is what matters.
Up until about a few years ago, I was unconsciously practicing Self-Hatred. I was so hard on myself, beating myself up over mistakes, nitpicking my appearance and body, judging myself harshly, consuming food, substances, and content that were not good for me. This Self-Hatred manifested in anxiety, depression, and a lack of trust with myself. Therefore, you can imagine, I did not trust others, I disliked most people, I was harsh and judgmental. I had weak boundaries, people-pleased, and while this version of myself was very loving and wanted so badly to do good in the world, I was not living in my truest alignment. The whisper in my head kept saying, "You know that doesn't feel right for you, why are we doing this?" It's because I was not practicing Self-Compassion!
Now, I practice radical Self-Compassion. I practice Mel Robbins' "The High 5 Habit" daily, I have conversations with myself while looking at myself in the mirror (a la The Help "You are kind, smart, and important"). I'm honest with myself, I do my daily meditations, journaling, keep a loving-kindness journal. I exercise, meditate, and eat foods that nourish my mind and body daily. I see myself through the lens of love and make micro-decisions every day, every hour of the day, that will benefit my highest good.
This isn't to say I don't have moments where self-loathing creeps in; I still have those days or periods of time. The amount of time it takes for me to bounce back during and after one of those spells has shortened.
I have seen a direct correlation between these practices and the amount of soul nourishing, loving relationships that have strengthened in my life. All because I made the intentional decision of cultivating my own relationship with myself. I am now my own best friend.
What are your favorite ways of practicing Self-Compassion? Share below!