Why is it that we are so often our own worst enemy? Why do we all find it so hard to be kind to ourselves. Why is it that so many of us cannot accept the simple truth that you yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.
I just had a long conversation with a good friend of mine about this. We both agreed that it can be an absolute nightmare to live in one’s head. We always seem to be our worst critic. On the heels of that conversation, I read a great article and watched a really helpful video on a wonderful site I’ve mentioned several times: Greater Good.
Kristin Neff, Ph.D believes in a healthier way of relating to oneself.
The relentless search for high self-esteem has become a virtual religion; and a tyrannical one at that. Our competitive culture tells us we need to be special and above average to feel good about ourselves, but we can’t all be above average at the same time. There is always someone richer, more attractive, or successful than we are. And even when we do manage to feel self-esteem for one golden moment, we can’t hold on to it. Our sense of self-worth bounces around like a ping-pong ball, rising and falling in lock-step with our latest success or failure.
Fortunately, there is an alternative to self-esteem that many psychologists believe is a better and more effective path to happiness: self-compassion
So what exactly is self-compassion. Neff describes it as having three components:
Self-Kindness vs Self-Judgement
Common Humanity vs Isolation
Mindfulness vs Over Identification
There are several video clips by Kristin Neff that are all worth watching. I’m attaching this clip as a wonderful introduction as to why self-compassion is so important to all of us. Because as the Dalai Lama reminds us:
If you don’t love yourself, you cannot love others, you will not be able to love others.If you have not compassion for yourself then you are not able to develop compassion for others.
I’d love to hear how you show yourself self-compassion.
And as always, thank you for taking the time to visit. I appreciate it.