SELF-COMPASSION - BE YOUR OWN BFF!
At the end of January this year I defined self-compassion as choosing to grow without judgement of self by directing kindness and understanding no matter what I have done, nor the circumstances I find myself in – knowing that I am doing the best I can and through this awareness I can transform into a better version of myself with patience and persistence.
Why is it so easy to direct compassion to others but not to one’s self? Our hearts feel the pain of another’s experience be it a child who is in suffering or a woman in the depths of despair we instinctively are pulled to try and ease the pain with kindness and gentleness. There is no judgment but only understanding that: this person experiences pain just like us, they are doing the best they can with what they currently know; they are learning lessons just like us and seek happiness just like us.
There is no anger or impatience but gentle, nurturing unconditional love like that of a parent with a child – knowing that events of failure, mistakes or poor choices that cause pain are an opportunity for growth. The parent remains fully focussed on seeing the true beauty of the child viewing the event as separate from the soul. With gentle guided reflection posing questions such as:
- Can you remember what was happening before you made this choice?
- Do you understand how you made this choice?
- Did this event remind you of a negative experience you have had before? What happened previously?
- When it all unfolded how were you feeling?
- What did you learn from this?
- I understand you were doing the best you could at the time, can you forgive yourself for making this choice?
- If this were to happen again what choice would you make?
- How would you like to move forward from this event?
Very few of us are lucky enough to have experienced this environment in childhood. Perhaps one of discipline with no discussion; told you were not good enough, a failure of a disappointment; and the experience of shame and disapproval of adults in your life was more the norm. This childhood environment of negative conversations and feelings become our inner dialogue or self-talk.
Awareness of this dialog and an understanding that it is not true and an approach to become your own internal unconditional loving parent or your own best friend will move you to a place of self-compassion and self-forgiveness.
Perhaps next time you are about to direct some self-criticism or hard words towards yourself you could pause and ask yourself a line of questioning as detailed above. In this way we provide a safe, nurturing, understanding home within ourselves.
As an adult or parent with this awareness it is important that we be mindful of the way we address the children in our lives and when we are disappointed by their choices bring ourselves to a place of calm knowing that the way we speak to them inherently becomes their own self-talk.
We are going to have challenging days and as adults if we slip up I believe it is important that we direct self-compassion towards ourselves and role model this to the children in our lives and allow them to hear our internal dialog and observe that we always take responsibility for our behaviour and sincerely apologise to those who were on the receiving end of our poor choices.
Thankyou for your time,
Love from me
Karen Ormston is a Professional Life Coach, Intuitive Guide and ThetaHealing Practitioner. Owner-director of Petite Soul Sanctuary. www.petitesoulsanctuary.com.au