What is self compassion? self compassion is same as compassion to others, dictionary.com defines compassion “a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering”. It reminds me of the powerful lesson taught by Jesus Christ and the parable of the Good Samaritan. A young lawyer questioned Jesus “ what must I do to have everlasting life?”.Jesus very cleverly asked him a question find out what was really on his mind. The young lawyer answered in part “love your neighbour”. In effect what the lawyer believed love of neighbour was we don’t really know. Brilliantly Jesus defines love or compassion by his famous parable in Luke 10. The Good Samaritan has what Carl Rogers says in Psychology Unconditional positive regard. Basically accepts and loves the person for what he or she is. Positive regard is not withdrawn if the person does something wrong or makes a mistake. A lead expert Kristin Neff says Self-compassion involves responding in the same supportive and understanding way you would with a good friend when you have a difficult time, fail, or notice something you don’t like about yourself.
Kristen Neff says there are 3 elements to self compassion 1 Self kindness 2 Humans have common shared experiences 3 mindfulness being aware of our thoughts and feelings. She has many resources online which you may very useful. In essence step outside of yourself and look at your situation and you will know what your needs are. If you find this an overwhelming experience and have a very critical inner voice speak to a trusted friend about your situation. Even better a trained therapist will guide you through the process.
An example of finding a new loving relationship. I will only cover a couple of ideas but each individual has a different story to tell. You may believe that you are ugly, fat , bent nose etc. Basically feel you are unattractive to everyone and what’s the point of looking for a new relationship. Now become self compassionate what would a true friend say about your authentic self. Kristen Neff element of kindness would have a positive response. The human element that that there are plenty of examples worldwide of love between diverse individuals. Thirdly where is the idea or thought of unattractive self come from are we aware of feelings and situations that trigger the inner critic.
To love yourself is to be compassionate with yourself. Are these self condemning judgements echos of childhood misery or recent conflicts of others. Traumatic scars raise thier ugly truths to suppress the authentic self. Every living human brain can control the mind on what to think and feel and this in turn will be evident by your behaviour. Give that compassionate self a name and nurture it , look after it and guide it with wisdom. If you don’t look after your compassionate self the inner demon can take over the mind to disastrous consequences. Listen to your body needs and looking after the soul as your best friend.”We must learn to sail in high winds. ” said Aristotle. We have the great navigator on our journey though life the authentic self.’If we falter and lose our freedoms”that is out true self, “it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” Abraham Lincoln.