Self – compassion is giving yourself the same compassion and kindness that you would give a loved one. Charity begins at home, remember! A common stumbling block when thinking about self-compassion is the belief that it just means letting ourselves off the hook. When we say “it’s only human,” isn’t this just a way to blow off personal responsibility for our actions? But let’s look at this more closely. First of all, isn’t it strange that admitting the fact that we’re flawed human beings is perceived as not being honest with ourselves? Isn’t the honest truth that we are only human?
Let’s look at three main elements of self compassion
- Self -Kindness Vs. Self Judgement : When we as people treat ourselves with more respect and warmth, compared to self-criticism and unrealistic expectations, we can then have a greater understanding and sympathy for our own realities and emotions.
- Common Humanity Vs. Isolation : Suffering is not specific to one individual. As part of the human condition, we are all flawed, mortal, and subject to harsh realities. Understanding and accepting that you aren’t alone in your suffering will help reduce feelings of isolation and bring you to terms with your life in a healthy way.
- Mindfulness Vs. Over Identification : Mindfulness requires the non-judgemental observation of oneself, exactly what is needed in order to avoid exaggerating negative emotions or suppressing them as well. An open and kind observation of negative emotions can be helped when you put your suffering into a larger human perspective, not undermining your own emotions but allowing yourself to be comforted by knowing you’re not alone.
Self-compassion allows us to turn toward and face the difficult feelings that arise when considering our own mistakes and misdeeds, meaning that we can see ourselves more clearly and do what’s needed to make things better.