Self-compassion can be both a grand gesture of acceptance and a small display of respect. With time, the kindness you show yourself starts to encompass everything and permeate everything, including how you treat others.
“A human being is part of the whole, called by us ‘universe,’ a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” — Albert Einstein
Practicing self-compassion isn't the only way to peace; compassion for ourselves is exquisitely tied to compassion for others. We can practice self-compassion to help others and we can practice showing compassion to others to better help ourselves.
And as you witness how much we all have in common, it’s easier to be easy on yourself.
With that said, kindness to self is a wise way to make the world a better place.
Here are my personal thoughts on what self-compassion means.
What Self-Compassion Means on a Day-to-Day Basis
1. Being with yourself even if it’s uncomfortable and painful. Really, just sitting with whatever is going on inside of you—any thoughts, feelings, resistance, patterns, etc.
2. Loving yourself anyway.
3. Carrying your own lantern in a dark place. Being a source of light when nobody else seems to be taking the reigns; not relying on others for your inner peace, but also understanding that you can work through others to work on yourself or, vice versa, you can work through yourself to work on others.
4. Honoring your insecurities and sitting with your wounds without trying to make them be something they’re not.
5. Not forcing yourself to be something that you’re not.
6. Respecting your journey even if you don't understand it.
You need to get to know yourself just as you are before changing who you are.
7. Loving the decisions that you made mindfully.
8. Consciously not feeding into lies about who you are.
9. Releasing the need to use the words “blame,” “fault,” and “should.”
10. Protecting yourself from constant negativity and practicing being able to be in the middle of negativity without absorbing it.
11. Emitting your own frequency rather than being in a constant state of reactivity.
12. Forgiving yourself for forgetting to stop and get the groceries.
13. Paying attention to your intuition. Even if you decide something different than what you intuitively are sensing is the right direction, being mindful of that sensation and respecting its messages.
14. Remaining vulnerable (open and true to your values, which is strength) because you want to stay loving (because that’s who you are).
15. Saying “no” when there’s no exciting “yes” in your heart.
16. Appreciating something about yourself every day.
17. Focusing on matters of the heart: qualities that you like about yourself and your life; dreams and ambitions; what you’ve survived; what you’re grateful for, and so on.
18. Choosing dark chocolate over milk chocolate here and there.
A healthy lifestyle is sustained through self-compassion.
19. Going for it even if there’s a chance of failure, with hope that you’re meant to be doing what you’re doing regardless of the outcome.
20. Showing compassion to others.
21. Witnessing your negative thoughts without identifying with them.
22. Allowing yourself quiet moments of mindfulness, even if it’s only for a deep inhale and exhale.
23. Right after saying something unkind to or about yourself, choosing to take a step back and rewrite that story.
24. Trying all sorts of different methods of caring for yourself and others without making it just another item on your to-do list.
25. Asking yourself, “What’s good for you?”
. . .
Which of these thoughts did you need to read today?
Tell me in the comments. I read every single one, and I'd love to know!
P.S. Need to show yourself some love, but not sure where to start? Go visit my shop for prints of handwritten poems and other words of hope and heart. Find your favorite and keep it somewhere you'll see it every day... so you never forget how essential you are.