“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.”
Our true nature is endless peace, beyond space and time, and pure aliveness. And it’s beautiful to explore this truth directly.
But if you’re like me, sometimes we have very human experiences of getting caught in old stories and limited ways of thinking about ourselves.
We feel sad, angry, frustrated, unworthy, jealous, or shameful, and it doesn’t feel good.
At times like these, it can help immensely to practice self-compassion as a way home to peace.
We’re all good people, right? We care about others and know how to treat them with support, acceptance, encouragement, kindness, and love.
Self-compassion is about meeting our own experience with this same love and care.
Many of us are conditioned to turn against ourselves. In our minds, we belittle and criticize our bodies, our creative ideas, our choices, and our actions.
And when waves of emotion visit, we want to fix, change, and avoid—anything but let these tender experiences be as they are. We often feel like we’re just not doing it right.
Self-compassion is the healing balm that helps us weave the fragments of ourselves back together. And here is where we discover our essential wholeness that was always who we are.
We start practicing self-compassion by turning our attention toward whatever we’re experiencing in the moment. We slow things down so we can consciously feel what’s here. Why? Because it’s here for our loving attention.
We stop fighting with our feelings and instead stay open to lovingly receive what appears. And whatever it is, we welcome like our long lost child coming home.
By being kind to what arises, we’re attuned to ourselves. We acknowledge what’s happening; we have our own back—which is exactly what these tender parts of ourselves are longing for.
And practicing this deep self-acceptance over time, we start to find a safe base within that we can return to any time—our harbor in the midst of any storm. We slowly trust again.
We practice self-compassion first with a willingness to be kind to ourselves—because I know you know that self-judgment is stealing your happiness. Then, turning inward, we’re curious about what we find.
- What sensations are appearing in your body?
- What thoughts are in your mind that are telling you negative, distorted stories about who you are?
- What emotions want to be seen by you?
Simply this heartfelt noticing is a supremely kind act.
And here are some other ways to be self-compassionate:
- We breathe with one hand on the heart and one on the belly—softening into ourselves, being our own best companion.
- We arrive back to the present moment using our five senses. What do you hear, see, smell, taste, feel? This is what’s real right now.
- We see how the inner critical voice undermines us, and we become a coach to ourselves instead. What can your inner coach say to support you?
Once there’s space from the prison of your inner negativity, you get to listen deeply within. What is your inner aliveness saying to you? What wants to be born in you? What is itching to be expressed?
Then you find the courage to let the truth of you be known.
Bringing kindness within is the path that will light up the way…