Years ago, my life felt tedious, which was bizarre, because on the surface I had much to be grateful for.
I had a solid relationship with no major issues and good friends. I owned a (very, very small) home. I could afford to put groceries in the fridge and I slept on a very comfortable mattress. I had a dog who looks like a teddy bear.
Despite this, I felt trapped in a job that often caused me burnout and stress. Everything seemed mediocre (at best) and I had completely lost the vitality and zest for life that I possessed in my younger days. I became resigned to the fact that perhaps this was life now that the thrills (and terrors and near-misses) of my 20’s were long gone.
It was happenstance that I enrolled in a 9-week course on Self-Compassion. Years as a mental health counsellor had me curious as to what this course could offer to my clients, who often seemed stuck no matter what we did. In the process of completing the course, my life was also changed and I learned that when you feel stuck, trapped and resigned (perhaps the worst feeling of all), chances are high that you are disconnected from loving yourself.
But let me tell you- it doesn’t have to be that way.
Self-compassion is the act of noticing our suffering and tending to it in the same manner that we would act for someone we loved deeply. For me, the “a-ha!” moment came when we were instructed to think of how we would react to a small child that had made a mistake, or was ill. When I thought about how I would envelop my child in my arms and care for her, I immediately understood how punitive I had been to myself all these years.
You can become so critical and unforgiving of yourself that you begin to become fearful of failing, making a mistake or being embarrassed.
Because then you’d have to answer to… you know… yourself. The person who screams things at you that you wouldn’t dream of even thinking of another person.
When you practice self-compassion, you understand that failure and suffering are part of the universal human experience. You cut yourself some slack when you don’t get it right, because after all, you’re human. Self-compassion prompts you to remember your own needs in any moment. So, when you are full of anxiety or stress, you remember to check in with yourself and tend to that need in the moment (and not make it worse by demanding that you chill out, you loose cannon).
By practicing self-compassion, you move into a space where you are able to forgive yourself for past mistakes or poor decisions. It is from this place of power that you begin to set yourself free- and move on with taking risks that may just point you in the right direction. Beginning to love and nourish yourself means that you can try again- because the bully in your head just doesn’t live there anymore (or, takes up much less residency).
You deserve peace.
Join the revolution! Book now to begin your journey home to self-compassion and possibility.