When I asked my 7 year old son "What is the purpose of life?" he answered "So you can play, so you can have fun and so you can be happy." God, I love him!
So what does self compassion have to do with being happy, you ask? Here are some things to consider.
Notice you are suffering.
To begin with, you have to become aware that you are suffering and acknowledge that you are experiencing some difficulty, stress or pain.
Practise self kindness.
Allowing your feelings to surface will give you a clue as to how to respond to your pain. Self compassion is much the same as having compassion for someone else. Just as you would do for a friend, you tune into their pain and offer understanding, kindness and comfort. You can also display this empathy for yourself.
Understanding cannot exist alongside judgement.
It is not helpful to judge or criticise yourself nor to just soldier on, ignoring your pain and stress. Release any judgement and don’t give yourself a hard time about your situation. Try not to listen to your inner critic that has the habit of berating you and expecting you to be perfect. The truth is nobody is perfect.
Honour and accept your humanness.
An important thing to realise is that we are all human and we are all in the same boat experiencing similar struggles. Our humanness connects us to one another because we understand that our failings, limitations, shortcomings, mistakes and inadequacies are part of the shared human experience. It is a comfort and relief to know that we are not alone in our suffering. If, for example, you are feeling embarrassed about your behaviour, you could tell yourself “lots of people would have reacted the same way under those circumstances, next time I will handle the situation differently.”
Use your experience to grow.
The more we can accept ourselves and our humanness, the more we can have compassion for ourselves. In the spirit of loving kindness we can learn from our mistakes, discover new coping skills, learn to create boundaries with others and so forth as required. As we learn to better handle life’s ups and downs, we can be secure in the knowledge that we are here to support and encourage ourselves.
Take a moment to comfort yourself.
Does this sound familiar? When your child is sick, you immediately take action to solve the problem. You make phone calls, reschedule your day, change appointments, clean up vomit and soothe your sick child. How often do you stop and think - “This is stressful and I need some comforting. I’m worried about my child, I feel disappointed because I had an important meeting today, I’m stressed that I am going to miss a deadline and this will impact others.” We tend to forget about the impact on ourselves when we experience a setback and that we can actually take a moment to give ourselves the understanding and support we need.
Your true nature is joy.
To be more joyful, we tune into our inner world, where joy and happiness reside. Self compassion is a key pathway to joy. When you are more loving towards yourself, this connects you to your true nature, and within that is joy and happiness.
Women's Group starting soon in South West Rocks.
Experience the shared wisdom of our Women’s Group and create the life you want through practising self-care and self-compassion. Together we share our journey and experiences, with some laughter and the occasional tears, knowing we are being supported to make gentle changes that will enrich our lives and relationships. For more details click here.
Click here to download a simple but powerful process to release self judgement.