Saturday, May 18, 2013

Self-compassion 101

A break up
Not getting the job
Financial setback

“I shouldn’t be letting this bother me,” you may say.
“I should be over this,” you proclaim.

But you’re not over it, and it IS bothering you.
And fighting it only makes the suffering last longer.
Because arguing with reality is a no-win situation.

Surrender. It’s time to surrender.
This does NOT mean you give up.
It means that you stop the struggle and just feel your feelings about what is happening.
No judging, no denial, no nastiness.
Stop. Fighting. It.
Put down your shield. Put down your sword.

“But if I allow myself to feel, I may start crying and never freaking stop.”
Yes, you will. You absolutely will stop crying.
It may take 5 days, but you will stop.

This is where self-compassion comes in.
When you stop putting a band-aid on your discomfort.
When you allow yourself to actually feel the uncomfortable emotions you are trying to mask.
And you don’t try to shame it away, blame it away, drink it away, eat it away, 
smoke it away, shop it away, or “I’m so busy” it away.
All these feelings need is to be acknowledged and witnessed.
Not fixed, or cheered up, or told tomorrow will be better.
Just be with those feelings.
Notice what they bring up.
And then be kind to yourself for having the courage to be human.

Treat yourself like you would a small child who has been hurt.
Wrap her in a blanket and put on her favorite movie.
Make sure she has plenty of soup or ice cream, 7Up or ginger tea.
Give her a bath with delicious scents and fluffy towels.
Allow her to heal, to rest, to restore.

And then when you feel like it, brave a new day with your heart wide open.
Because it takes courage to thrust yourself back into life after disappointment or loss.
It takes courage to live life unguarded.
You cannot inoculate yourself from pain unless you inoculate yourself from joy.
They go hand in hand.

Be kind to yourself, life wild and free.
Because when your heart is broken, it’s open.
It means you are alive.

“Courage is fear that has said its prayers and decided to go forward anyway.” ~Joyce Meyer