Life falls apart, but you don’t have to. There’s a reason I picked this as the title for my book! Being alive means navigating the waters of intermittent chaos. We can’t control most of what goes on around us, but we can control how we respond to it.
That’s where Mindful Self-Compassion comes in.
Mindful Self-Compassion is all about treating yourself with love, kindness, and care — just as you would your dearest friend or loved one. When you’re having a hard time, you fail, or you notice something you don’t like about yourself, see how you can care for yourself in that moment rather than pushing through with self-criticism or ignoring your pain.
Instead of mercilessly judging and criticizing yourself for various inadequacies or shortcomings, self-compassion means you are kind and understanding when confronted with personal failings. After all, who ever said you were supposed to be perfect?
You may try to change in ways that allow you to be healthier and happier but, when done with self-compassion, this is because you care about yourself, not because you believe you are worthless or unacceptable as you are.
Honor and accept your humanness. Things will not always go the way you want them to. You will encounter frustrations; losses will occur; you will make mistakes, bump up against your limitations, and fall short of your ideals. This is the human condition — a reality shared by all of us.
The more you open your heart to this reality instead of constantly fighting against it, the more you will be able to feel compassion for yourself and all your fellow humans in the experience of life.
Mindfulness is the first step in emotional healing.
Mindfulness enables us to turn toward and acknowledge our difficult thoughts and feelings (such as inadequacy, sadness, anger, or confusion) with a spirit of openness and curiosity. Self-compassion involves responding to these difficult thoughts and feelings with kindness, sympathy, and understanding so that we soothe and comfort ourselves when we’re hurting.
Research has shown that self-compassion greatly enhances emotional well-being. It boosts happiness, reduces anxiety and depression, and can even help maintain healthy lifestyle habits such as diet and exercise.
Being both mindful and compassionate leads to greater ease and well-being in our daily lives.