A Lesson in Self-Compassion

I don’t always see myself as others see me and throughout my life I’ve been my toughest critic. But it wasn’t until recently that I realized the deep extent of my poor self-image.

I have battled my negative self-talk as long as I can remember and I’ve learned to deal with it the best I can. I’ve been able to keep my feelings fairly contained, and, to my knowledge, no one saw past my confident, outgoing exterior.

The truth is, I wouldn’t treat a dear friend like I treat myself sometimes. With maturity, long-term loving relationships, becoming a mom and a successful teaching career, I have developed a fair amount of self-confidence, but this didn’t really translate into self-compassion.

The real impetus that put me onto the path of self-compassion was when I Iooked in a mirror and uttered, “I hate myself.” Out loud. In front of other people. And there it was. I had just had a difficult conversation with a friend that I really cared about. The conversation didn’t go as planned, at all, and I felt as if I really screwed up.

I’ve read that shame can’t survive the light of day (Brene Brown). That, once we talk about our feelings and shine a light on them, they tend to have less power and control over us.

In my case, this  vulnerable moment was just what I needed to begin a process of healing and learning about the importance of self-compassion. Even though this was a very difficult time, I’m grateful that it’s brought me to where I am today.

“When we give ourselves compassion, we are opening our hearts in a way that can transform our lives.”

– Kristin Neff

Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

  • Being our authentic, imperfect selves makes us more relatable to others
  • People tend to be more comfortable around us when we are honest about our shortcomings
  • Negative self-talk does not motivate us to do better, in fact it has the opposite effect and can cause depression and anxiety
  • Self-compassion and forgiveness helps us to be more compassionate and forgiving towards others
  • Setting boundaries in our lives is an act of compassion, since when we fail to do so, we end up resenting others (I love this one!)

I’m happy to share what I’ve learned and excited to continue my journey!

I just signed up for  an e-course with Brene Brown and Kristen Neff on self-compassion. Brene’s  work and her words have been so helpful to me. I’ve read several of her books and taken one of her e-courses. She’s smart and compassionate, and her work is research-based, which really appeals to me. You’d think I worked for her (I wish!), but I’m just a fan!

Here’s the link for Brene Brown’s courses if you are interested:

http://www.courageworks.com

Take care and Be All There!

Love,

Jeanne

 

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4 thoughts on “A Lesson in Self-Compassion

  1. I never thought u felt that way, u always come across very confidant, strong, and empowered woman. I always admire you and to tell u the truth i can relate myself to what u went through.I am sure your article helps so many women including myself to be less judgmental and overly critical. You r so right with age and life experiences we learn a lot from ourselves. Please keep on writing i always enjoy your articles.

    Liked by 1 person

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