This week’s word is…SELF-COMPASSION

self-compassion

There are words that are essential to the Mothering Conversation. Words that represent qualities and behaviors for us to try on if we are to
evolve the conversation of mothering. Each week on our blog, we feature one of these Words.

Definition of Self-Compassion:

“Self-compassion is simply giving the same kindness to ourselves that we would give to others.” Christopher Germer from his book “The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion.

“Thinking, feeling, and behaving with warmth, caring, and the desire to relieve suffering, towards YOURSELF.” De Yarrison, after reading about a hundred articles on self-compassion, by amazing authors including Dr. Kristen Neff, Barb Markway, Tara Brach, and Brene Brown.

Self-Compassion is awareness and empathy for my own struggles, distress, and suffering. I extend self-compassion when I come alongside myself, providing support, comfort, and reassurance. Just as I would give to a good friend. Just as I would receive FROM a good friend. Self-compassion, simply put, is authentically befriending yourself.

Examples:

  1. Instead of just ignoring your pain with a “stiff upper lip” mentality, you stop to tell yourself “this is really difficult right now,” and to think about how you might comfort and care for yourself in that moment.
  2. Instead of mercilessly judging or criticizing yourself for various inadequacies (which we all have by simple virtue of our humanity. i.e.: you’re normal), self-compassion is kind, gentle, and uplifting. “You are able and capable.” “You are worthy.”
  3. You befriend and support yourself when you encounter frustrations, loss, or disappointments. And when you make mistakes, miss a goal or deadline, and bump up against your limitations. “I see how hard you are working.” “You are handling this and all will be ok.” “You are showing up, and you are enough.”

Here’s the awesome news about self-compassion: God’s Love is the SOURCE of self-compassion. His love is perfect & always available; we do not have to get there alone. In fact, we can’t get there alone!

“Self-compassion allows us to access a safe space of love and belonging in the midst of our imperfection because it is sourced in a Love beyond ourselves.” Janet Davis in her lovely blog post about self-compassion.

EXERCISE
Each day this week, begin your day by purposefully and lovingly connecting with YOU.

  1. Each day as you’re going through your morning routine (time to make the coffee…), use our “Self-Compassion Conversation Starters” to engage in a self-compassionate dialogue with YOURSELF.
  2. Download and print out the Conversation Starters by clicking on the reminder card below. Post on your bathroom mirror, coffee pot, bible, anywhere that you will see it early in your day.
  3. As you ask yourself the questions on the card, take a moment to note your answers in a notebook or journal.
  4. At the end of each day, take a look at what you wrote that morning. And reflect on your self-relationship & self-dialogue of the day. How did you meet your self-compassion needs and requests from the morning? If you did NOT meet your self-compassion needs, what got in your way?

Self-Compassion Conversation Starters

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  1. Self-Compassion is warmth, caring, and support for oneself. Blog by De Yarrison | Conversation Revolution
  2. My Mirror and Self-Affirmation - Conversation Revolution - Women Rise. Evolve the Conversation of Mothering.