Recently it was pointed out to me by someone who knows what he’s talking about that I need to be more compassionate with myself. To be totally honest, I didn’t really understand what that meant. I mean, I know what it’s like to be compassionate to others, and although I sometimes fail at this, I really do think I try to understand someone else’s position without being judgy.But I was unfamiliar with HOW to be compassionate with myself.
A bit of Googling (one of my favorite pastimes) revealed that maybe I’m not being as compassionate with myself as I should be. You see, I have high expectations for myself. A lot of the time I’m happy with my life, but every now and then I see a younger woman who’s more successful than I am, who has a house and a well-paying job, and I think to myself “What have I done wrong? Do I not deserve a house?” Or I see a blogger with a few thousand followers and a published cookbook and media mentions and go “What if I’m not good enough?” Or I get angry at my husband or a friend and lash out and I tell myself I’m being a huge asshole.
Does any of this behavior sound familiar to you?
So here are some ways I’m going to put this self-compassion thing into practice:
- Be kind to myself. I’m going to try to stop telling myself I’m being an asshole when I’m angry at someone. I choose this word because I use it a lot. I even say it aloud to other people. “I was being such an asshole the other day.” “I feel like such an asshole.” Instead, I’m going to try and recognize that I got angry, and I lashed out, and while lashing out may have been a mistake, the way I felt was not wrong, and no one can tell me my feelings are illegitimate. If I remove the judgement of those words, that is kindness.
- Remember I’m not the only one who feels this way. We’re all human, and we all suffer. I often tell people that someone out there always has it worse, and it’s true. But that doesn’t make my own suffering insignificant, at least not to me. We ALL have times where we hurt or we doubt. It’s part of what makes us human.
- Be aware of my own suffering. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in how many things I HAVE to do on a day to day basis that I start to get crabby without realizing the cause. It’s during these times I need to pay more attention to WHY I’m cranky and work on the source of the problem. I have to stop a moment and allow myself a moment to feel the hurt, because suppressing it or pretending it isn’t there doesn’t allow me to let it go.
Like anything, it’s a process. And when I really need some love, I take a moment to hug my dog. Here he is with his Uncle Josh, looking suave:
So what about you? Are you guilty of not being compassionate to yourself? Let me know in the comments!