Let me tell you a just little something about self-compassion.
History shows I can be downright mean to myself. Imagine something b****y you might say when you’re stressed, snappy, hangry, or feeling back-stabbed. This is what I’ve said to myself for everything, including the tiny things. I can’t handle even the slightest bit of criticism from someone else because—you think I haven’t already thought that about myself first!?—that I haven’t already tried to fix it!?
I’m a fixer. I’m always fixing me. Always doing better. Growing. Dynamic.
Crumbs. Toss me a crumb of interest/ niceties/ friendship and I’m loyal to you until the day you die. I “mess up” even one thing, and here it comes: I’m not good enough, not close enough, not…, not… What can I do to make them like me better? Can I call more? Was I interesting enough? Deep enough? Did I make them laugh? Am I inspiring to be around? Was I fully attentive? Did I treat them the way I want to be treated?
But lately, my latest fix, my latest renovation project, my area for growth has been self-compassion. Asking questions like: What if I was empathetic to myself? A friend to myself?
What if I said to myself, “it’s okay to mess up because you’re human”?
Or “love you for being the trying, growing, dynamic force that you are.”
“You are so strong and so resilient.”
Or “That compassion that you feel for others suffering, in poverty, broken-hearted? That’s for you too. And you deserve it. You feel pain too and it’s real.”
The truth is, you don’t have to be sorry for who are though society and plenty of other broken people (me included) may have made you feel like you do.
There is no shame in loving yourself or thinking about yourself or taking care of yourself. Ever been called self-centered? Me too, and it’s a lie. You’re beautiful as a human and a soul. Your identity doesn’t come from getting it right or being a good friend or whatever tough standard you’ve imposed on yourself. Have empathy for yourself and your experiences and pain.
I think I could write about self-compassion about a hundred times over and over again, version after version, because I just can’t get it all out on paper. I look it over and still feel the words haven’t come out right, and yet it is so important that it is worth getting right. So in honor of self-compassion, I will start right now by appreciating that I tried. It’s written. Consider this self-compassion version one.