What is Compassion?
Compassion is your ability to recognize suffering and take action to help. For you to have compassion for others you must first notice that they are suffering and become moved to help the suffering person in some way.
Compassion can be displayed by offering,
If you are experiencing compassion it is very unlikely that you will respond to others with,
What is self-compassion?
Self-compassion is your ability to treat yourself with love and understanding when you are experiencing a difficult time.
Instead of criticizing yourself for your imperfections,
self-compassion means you are understanding and kind
with yourself when faced with your imperfections.
I mean who said you had to be perfect anyway?
Self-compassion allows you to change because you love yourself and want to be better, not because you are unacceptable as you are. Having compassion allows you to see and accept the humanness in you. Bad days, loss, failure, and making mistakes are all inevitable human experiences. Opening your hearts and accepting this truth may help you feel compassion for yourself and others around you.
The 3 Elements of Self-Compassion
1. Self-Kindness vs. Self-Judgment
Being warm and loving towards yourself instead of criticizing yourself, ignoring your pain, or feeling inadequate.
2. Common Humanity vs. Isolation
A big part of being human is understanding that we are all imperfect. Understanding that ALL humans feel pain and suffering gives you the perspective of a shared human experience, rather than one of isolation. Isolation only leads to more pain and suffering.
3. Mindfulness vs. Over-Identification
Mindfulness is the ability to be receptive and non-judgmental. Mindfulness allows you to explore your thoughts so that your feelings are not suppressed or blown out of proportion. Being mindful of your emotions, both positive and negative, help you to not over-identify with them.
Self-compassion can be learned. By remaining mindful of our thoughts and emotions we can replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
Instead of saying “I am a failure”, say “I tried my best today”
Instead of saying “I can’t do it”, say “I’ve got this”
Instead of saying “There is no point in trying, I’m too stupid”, say “I will try my best, and learn from my mistakes”
Self-Compassion is nothing more than treating yourself as you would treat your best friend, child, or other person who you love dearly.
I want to encourage you all to work on your self-compassion daily, because life is beautiful, even on our worst days.
From the works of Dr. Kristin Neff