What Is Healthy Self-compassion?

When your body needs attention, it will get it from you — and the people in your life. The question is: When you need those people to acknowledge your need, and you don’t get it that way, what does that say about you?  I am thankful for this thought because I am so often uncomfortable with acknowledging my self-care in any context. Instead, I do what is expected of me — and this causes me to feel guilty.

The more we care for others, the more able we are to care for ourselves. A friend of mine was talking to me recently and she asked, “What do you do to get out of bed?” My reply was, “I do yoga so I can have a good back-and-neck workout during the day and then at night I do yoga and yoga and yoga.”

What kind of workout? “Yoga. I always want to know what that means, so I do the best I can during the day and then at night I just do yoga, and then come back to my body a little more.”

The question on my brain was: “Did you do yoga because you knew you needed it to be at your best in your mind?”  I did not get an answer to that.  Maybe she felt bad because I was asking for something which she thought I already knew.

What makes that kind of response more uncomfortable?  When I did the yoga, I felt self-conscious because it wasn’t in line with what was expected of me.

The more we care for others, the more able we are to care for ourselves.

This is why mindfulness is so important for us!

I recently attended a workshop and one young woman brought in a list of questions she wanted answered by the people around her.  For the answers, she wanted to know every little detail of who those people were, what clothes they had on, and so forth.  In short, she was looking for a way of showing gratitude. That’s amazing!  In an ideal world, we all had this kind of relationship with one another!  When we did this, we became more in touch with ourselves rather than looking for someone else to show us that we really have value.

I am grateful for that.  The more we are in touch with ourselves, the better we are able to care for other people.

At a time when we are feeling overwhelmed with the number of tasks that keep us busy, is there a time when we are more likely to be grateful for our own time and effort?  Of course.  If you are on a deadline — you are going to be extra careful when you are working on something that might not be completed by the end of your appointment.  Forgiving yourself on that level increases our own happiness.

When I do well on a challenge, I am reminded that I am just getting started!  When I do badly, I know I can do better.

There is nothing wrong with acknowledging any task as a challenge.  The key is to focus on what I am doing rather than how I am doing it.  If you really are on a deadline, you’re going to be extra careful in order to meet the deadline.  If you are really worried about missing the deadline, you are going to be even more careful.  If you feel like you are failing, then it means that you are making progress.

If I work really hard, and I really want to do well, I am more likely to do well on a challenge — even if it’s a really hard one.

When we are doing something you don’t like, we tend to do it as long as we can and get away with it.  In order to feel good about ourselves, we tend to do a crappy job on it.