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What the Heck is Self-Compassion?

Uncategorized Jan 21, 2021

For several weeks I will be blogging about Dr. Brene Brown’s 10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living.  You can read more about them in her book The Gifts of Imperfection.

We can choose to live life differently and in a healthier manner by practicing these guideposts.  I invite you to “try them on,” one at a time, as I blog.    

Spiritual abuse does not have to have permanent control over our feelings or our behavior.  We can choose to work toward establishing healthier habits than staying in self-blaming and judging  perfectionism that would have us believe that we are not worthy of love and belonging.

The second guidepost is “Cultivating Self-Compassion:  Letting Go of Perfectionism.”  Last week I asked the question: “What would we have to give up in order to let go of feelings of unworthiness?”  Today I ask the question, “What would we have to take on in order to cultivate Self-Compassion?”

What is self-compassion, and how can we cultivate it?  Why do we need to?

We need to cultivate and practice self-compassion because it’s the antidote to perfectionism.  According to Dr. Brene Brown, if we practice perfectionism, we are cultivating shame, not self-compassion.

Well, what is it?  What is self-compassion?  Kristin Neff, another sociologist-researcher, defines it this way:  There are three components to self-compassion:  Self-kindness, Common Humanity, and Mindfulness.

Self-kindness:  Being gentle and kind toward ourselves, instead of beating ourselves up thinking we’re not worthy of love and belonging.

Common humanity:   All of us experience times of feeling of inadequate.  Those feelings are not something that happens only to you or me.  They are part of the entire human condition.

Mindfulness:  Being aware of our thoughts and feelings as something we’re experiencing, but not allowing the negative or painful parts to affect our behavior.

So, how do we practice these three aspects of Self-Compassion?  How do we cultivate it?  What to we have to “take on” in order to practice Self-Compassion?

            Make this a daily mantra:  I am worthy of love and belonging.  Therefore I will reverence the integrity of who I am.  I will be gentle with myself.

            Practice remembering whenever you feel inadequate, that untold numbers of other people have felt the same way.  It’s not just you and you alone.  Take comfort in that.

            When a strong emotion is in your heart, or a self-judging thought is in your mind, see if you can name it. 

            And recite the mantra again.

Got it?  Cultivate Self-Compassion.  Be intentional.  Grow your awareness.

And you know what?  At the same time you’re cultivating Self-Compassion, shame resilience will come along as a by product!  How great is that?


Leave me a comment.

And remember, you're awesome!  And God holds you in the palm of His hand.

2021 © Dorothy Gremillion

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