Here’s something I know we don’t talk about enough: self-compassion.
I’ll admit that self-compassion wasn’t even on my radar until my mid 40’s. I was still trying to figure out exactly what self-care and self-love meant for me and how I needed them to fit into my life.
Self-compassion felt like something that was a bonus … and wait, wasn’t it part of self-care? Needless to say, I didn’t have a handle on compassion for myself, and rightfully so. For most women, we have likely grown up with very few examples of true self-compassion around us.
It’s not what was generally mirrored or mentored to us nor is it the consistent societal message.
Compassion for others is celebrated. Compassion for ourselves is minimized.
So much so that many of us (myself included for the longest of times), aren’t really sure what self-compassion even means.
→ Responding in the same supportive and understanding way you would with a good friend when you have a difficult time, fail, or notice something you don’t like about yourself.
→ The ability to speak to yourself and treat yourself the way you would a friend.
→ Opening your heart to the human condition and understanding and accepting that sometimes we feel challenged, fall short of expectation or mess up … and it’s okay.
I think of it as creating a soft place to land for ourselves.
Here’s what else I’ve come to realize — We resist self-compassion. It’s in opposition to what we consciously or subconsciously believe is the way to BE in the world.
We worry that if we aren’t hard on ourselves that we’ll be seen as lazy.
We believe that being radically accepting of ourselves when we trip up means we won’t reach our goals because we’ve lowered the standard for ourselves.
We believe that putting energy into being deeply compassionate for ourselves is like throwing a pity-party for ourselves.
And lastly, we feel like self-compassion means we aren’t strong women who are capable of being successful, independent and a rockstar in our own lives.
I have a question for you … what would change for you and your relationship with yourself if you were deeply loyal to you?
If you weren’t a bully to yourself, what would you have the courage to try? To risk? To show up for?
Self-compassion changes everything.
When we put self-compassion at the bottom of our priority list, we end up last. When we chronically prioritize other people’s well-being ahead of our own, we serve from a depletable resource. When the peace in our hearts is negotiable, we no longer feel at peace.
Peace comes from us honoring our needs and leading with a sense of inner compassion. And not only does it feel good to look after ourselves and be deeply benevolent to ourselves, it raises every part of us to a higher way of being. When we truly slow down and take care of our mind, our body, our soul, that’s where we really access something beautiful within ourselves. It’s where we can truly follow our soul’s journey.
Self-compassion can sound like…
“I’m doing the best that I can – and it’s enough.”
“It’s understandable that I feel this way.”
“I am human and part of being human is making mistakes. Be gentle with yourself.”
“This is a moment of suffering. Suffering is a part of life. I can be kind to myself in this moment”
“I deserve kindness, just like everyone else.”
“Of course you don’t know how to do this well yet. You are just learning. Go easy on yourself.”
“It’s okay, you did your best and next time you will know even more.”
Self-Compassion Is The True Way Forward
The truth is that transformation happens behind the scenes. It’s not waving arms and fast-moving feet. It happens in the pauses. The slowing down. The deeply intentional and self-reflective moments. And what you want, what humanity desires, and what the collective is moving towards is not from following old paradigms.
The way forward comes from learning to expand our consciousness and opening up new ways of being.
If that feels uncomfortable, that’s natural.
It’s a new way of showing up FOR your life.
Be gracious with yourself as you learn to be a more compassionate place for yourself. And the next time you feel the need to be exceptionally hard on yourself, remember this what Rupi Kaur tells us:
“How you love yourself is how you teach others to love you.“
PS. If this is hitting home for you, the doors to my signature program ROOTS + The Sisterhood will open again in late September. Self-compassion is one of the modules I teach and a core step to self-mastery. The group will be capped at 40 women so if you want to grab your spot, hit this link to get on the waitlist.