Thursday, February 19, 2015

Let Your Self-Compassion Shine - #1000Speak

On this day, February 20, 2015, I proudly join forces with more than 1000 bloggers all over the world, speaking out on compassion. We are publishing our posts all on the same day, writing about compassion, kindness, support, and care for mankind. Our goal is to inundate the Blogosphere with goodness! I am honored to be part of such an important movement. You can help by sharing, tweeting, and re-blogging. Make a difference. Join the movement Keep the momentum going. #1000Speak



Dear Friend In Need of Compassion – 

I’m writing because I know you can use some compassion right now. We all need compassion from one another. We all need to give compassion and receive compassion. But more than anything, before you can give compassion, you need learn to have self-compassion. I know it’s not easy, but it’s something you need to work on doing every single day. Compassion is a practice. It’s something you must cultivate and work on daily. Some days will be easier than others but regardless, don’t give up on loving yourself. Show yourself compassion.

So often, when we make mistakes or when we do something we regret, we beat ourselves up internally. Our inner voice tells us “Nice going. You messed up again. What were you thinking? How could you be so stupid? You’re such an idiot. You’re never going to recover from this. You failed once again. No one is going to forgive you for this one. How could you be so selfish and thoughtless. You are a bad person…” and on and on your inner voice rambles incessantly. The more we listen to that voice, the louder it gets.

I want you to know though, that there is another voice. A voice that is barely a whisper, but one that is so much more powerful; a healing voice that is wise and true. It is the voice of self-compassion. Self-compassion is the quiet whisper that says “It’s okay. You did the best you could. You’re not a loser. Don’t worry about what others say or think. Everything is going to be okay. I love you.”

Friend, think of a time in your life when you could have used some self-compassion. Think of a time in your life when you were feeling worthless and unlovable. If you could go back to that time, what would you tell yourself now? We have all had times in our lives of feeling inadequate or rejected or broken. And we will continue to have moments like those. But instead of playing the same tapes in our heads; instead of listening to that same inner voice that makes us feel insignificant, small, and unimportant, we can make a different choice. We can choose to have self-compassion. We can talk to ourselves the same way we talk to someone we love.


Those negative beliefs and judgments you have about yourself – they don’t serve you. Let them go. Let go of the self-put-downs and insults. Release the negative thoughts you have about yourself. Let go of the brokenness you feel. You don’t need to fix anything. You are not broken. 

You are not broken. 

You are not broken.

You are beautifully whole. You are a good person with a good heart. You are a good daughter, sister, mother, wife, friend. You are loved and lovable. It’s okay to be who you are. It’s okay to express how you feel. It’s okay to speak your mind. It’s okay to be you. It’s okay to be seen and heard. Your feelings matter. Your voice matters. You matter.

You are not less-than. You are worthy of acceptance and love. Let go of any shame. Don’t let the shame define you. Let go of the hurt, the anger, and the wounds. Don’t let them have control over your life; over your thoughts; over your feelings about yourself. Let go of the self-hatred. Love yourself. Please love yourself. You are deserving of love; of joy; of peace in your heart and in your life.

You are not alone. Even when you think you have no one, there is always someone. Reach out when you are in need. It’s okay to ask for help. You are not weak for speaking up when you are going through a difficult or shameful experience. You are a survivor and you will survive this too. You can overcome any obstacle that comes your way. Remember that you are human and it’s okay to make mistakes.

You are worthy of happiness and goodness in your life. It’s okay to do what makes you happy; to take care of yourself; to meet your own needs. This does not make you selfish and thoughtless. Stop assuming your actions and words have hurt, angered, or offended another. Don’t over-think every word that comes out of your mouth or every word that is spoken to you. The whole world is not out to hurt you or attack you. It’s not always about you. Don’t take things personally. You don’t have to always please everyone.

It’s okay to be afraid; to feel unsure and insecure. These feelings do not make you worthless. You can be brave and afraid at the same time. You have more courage than you realize. Have the courage to love and accept yourself just as you are. Have the courage to forgive yourself. You’ve done nothing wrong in being you. Forgive yourself for believing that you could have done better. You are perfectly imperfect. The only perfect one is God and He doesn’t make mistakes. He made you and you are a reflection of Him. Believe that the Divine is in you. You are a gift to this world and a blessing to those around you.

Change your story. It’s never too late. You can choose peace and find the happiness that lies in your spirit. Live with gratitude for who you are. You are a radiant being of love.  Appreciate yourself. Be thankful for the lessons life has given you. You did enough. You are enough, just as you are. Show yourself the same care and attention you give to others. Nurture your mind, body, and soul. Stop judging yourself so harshly. Instead, make a commitment to talk to yourself the same way you talk to the people you love.

Make the choice right now to embark on a new chapter in your life – one of self-love, self-awareness, and self-compassion. Be kind to yourself. Accept yourself as you are. Embrace your imperfections, your darkness and your faults with compassion. They are part of what make you uniquely you. Remember you are not alone. We are all in this together; we are all connected; all one; just doing the best we can. Quiet the inner voice that puts you down and instead listen to those compassionate whispers. Allow the loving voice within to grow louder as you let your self-compassion shine.

Keep being brave,

Jackie

Photos by DanceLaughLuv

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If you think you don’t really need to work on self-compassion or if you’d like to know how you rate, please take this short test by Dr. Kristin Neff. The Self-Compassion Scale.  http://www.self-compassion.org/test-your-self-compassion-level.html
 
Dr. Neff is a researcher and professor at the University of Texas at Austin and she runs the Self-Compassion Research Lab. The test measures different elements of self-compassion (self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness) as well as the elements that get in the way of self-compassion (self-judgment, isolation, and over-identification). I’m sure you’ll be just as surprised with your scores as I was. (Actually, just browse her whole wonderful site. Lots of great stuff! www.self-compassion.org)

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Brené Brown taught me everything I know about self-compassion and I highly recommend her books. Moreover, I urge you take her e-course available on-demand through OWN. It was the most revelatory, life-changing, and inspiring thing I could have ever done for myself. http://www.oprah.com/app/brene-brown-on-demand.html

Lastly, I leave you with these quotes to think on...
“Thankfully, compassion spreads quickly. When we’re kind to ourselves, we create a reservoir of compassion that we can extend to others. Our children learn how to be self-compassionate by watching us, and the people around us feel free to be authentic and connected.” 
Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

“The heart of compassion is really acceptance. The better we are at accepting ourselves and others, the more compassionate we become. Well, it’s difficult to accept people when they are hurting us or taking advantage of us or walking all over us…If we really want to practice compassion, we have to start by setting boundaries and holding people accountable for their behavior.” 
Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

“It’s impossible to practice compassion from a place of resentment. If we’re going to practice acceptance and compassion, we need boundaries and accountability.” 
Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

“A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life.” 
Christopher K. Germer

“When we practice generating compassion, we can expect to experience the fear of our pain. Compassion practice is daring. It involves learning to relax and allow ourselves to move gently toward what scares us.” 
Pema Chodron, The Places That Scare You

“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.” 
Pema Chodron, The Places That Scare You




31 comments:

  1. A beautiful letter to so many who struggle with self-compassion

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    1. Thank you so much Kerri. As I wrote it, I realized that much of it was for me. Self-compassion is tough, but essential to living a joyful, wholehearted life. Thanks for reading and commenting. It means a lot.

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    1. Thank you so very much Rena for reading, sharing, and commenting! Have a wonderful day filled with compassion!

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  3. Lovely post, and thanks for sharing that quiz.

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    1. Thank you Julie! That quiz was really quite eye-opening for me. I hope you find some time to take it. :) Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.

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  4. This letter format is so effective. Really made me think back to last night when I failed so miserably in the compassion department with my highly anxious daughter. It's so hard to forgive yourself and move on; I spend too much time worrying about lasting damage instead of working towards more compassion.

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    1. Thank you so much, Sarah. I'm with you...It's so hard sometimes. I beat myself up 10 times a day over the things I say to my kids and then lose sleep wondering how much damage I caused. Friends remind me though, that in the end, the good will outweigh the bad. It's the collective sum of our actions that will make the lasting impression. And practicing self-compassion with ourselves teaches them to do the same.

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  5. This was such an amazing post. So smooth and calming and I could hear your words as I lay down somewhere relaxing and just letting my to do list go. Floating on an endless, vast expanse of ocean. I will be including this in a follow up post about the big day.
    My contribution had a different tone altogether putting a humorous perspective on my quest to choose just one topic for my post. I ended up cheating in the end and posted a couple. Here it is: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2015/02/20/compassion-fatigue-a-light-bulb-moment/
    xx Rowena

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    1. Thank you Rowena. I'm glad I was able to convey a soothing calmness. :) So honored to hear you want to include my post in a follow-up post. Thank you! I'll come check yours out too. Thanks for commenting and looking forward to reading your follow-up too.

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  6. Thank you for this. I love Brene Brown too. I find myself rereading her books every once in a while and learning something new every time.

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    1. Hi Elizabeth - Yes, I go back to her books as well and re-read the highlighted parts. They are great reminders that keep me on track with trying to live a wholehearted life. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  7. Really enjoyed reading your contribution, Jackie. Just lovely. And this: "Change your story. It’s never too late." Golden.

    Blessings to you, dear,
    Dani

    P.S. Thank you for the links to the quiz and the quotes. I truly Loved the last one.

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    1. Thank you Dani, so so much. Many blessing to you as well. I hope your dad is doing okay. That post really resonated with me. Thank you!

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  8. So glad you stopped by so I could read yours. It might have taken me forever to get to it. Great post!

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    1. Thank you! And thanks for coming over to read mine. :) Have a great weekend!

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  9. Thank you for a gentle and important reminder!

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    1. Thank you for reading and commenting! And thank you for lighting Twitter on fire yesterday. That was amazing to see. Your efforts didn't go unnoticed. :)

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  10. Bookmarking for those days that I need to hear these words and those days my friends need to hear it. :) Lovely post.

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    1. Awww...that's so sweet. Thank you! I may print it out and keep a copy handy for myself. Lol. Self-compassion doesn't come easy for anyone, I think.

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  11. A lovely letter, and loads of compelling arguments for self-compassion. Very well put together.

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    1. Lizzi!!! Aww, thank you SO much for coming over and reading! So glad you liked it. It means a lot coming from someone whose writing I admire and respect. All the best to you.

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  12. Your letter reminded me of 'Let it Go' from Frozen. It's true, only when my cup is brimming can I offer someone a drink from it. How can an empty cup provide respite to anyone, including me? And hence it is important to keep refilling that cup with positive reinforcements and compassion, time to time. What an innovative way to write for this challenge, Jackie.

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    1. Thank you so much for your great analogy! I also like the comparison to Let It Go. I hadn't thought of the similarity. :) Your comments and compliments are so appreciated!

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  13. Self compassion is one of the most difficult things to master. While working with a therapist I made a motivation diagram and one of the quotes I put on it says "I will believe in myself as much as others believe in me." It is so important to hold on to the positivity that we get from those around us so that we can look back at it to remind ourselves how special we are!

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    1. I LOVE your quote! What a great daily affirmation too! I recently read something that said that our broken beliefs about ourselves usually come from broken people. I thought that was really powerful. We have this negative inner voice, but I think it's important to look at where it stems from. Maybe being able to see how we come to these negative conclusions about ourselves will help us eradicate them permanently. And thank you so much for commenting!

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  14. This is a beautiful letter with beautiful quotes which will surely help people who struggle with self-compassion.

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    1. Thank you Sherry! My hope is that everyone who reads it, remembers these words when they are being hard on themselves.

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  15. How in the WORLD did it take me this long to get to your post??? This is a great format and a bigger topic than I thought. I wrote on self-compassion also and through the 1000Speak in February, it became clear that many of us struggle with self-compassion. Many. The letter format is effective - self talk is powerful and writing a letter to yourself is a good practice.
    Glad to be back in touch with you!

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    1. Hi Lisa, Better late, than never, right? ;) I agree...I noticed self-compassion was a frequent theme in the 1000Speak posts. I think it's something that the majority of people don't even know they lack. When we think of compassion in general, we don't instinctively think of it in terms of ourselves. About two years ago, I started writing letters/notes to myself, and it has been a life-changer. So happy to re-connect!!

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  16. This is a wonderful post! So happy that I came across it. Everyone needs self compassion once in a while and you've penned it down so beautifully. Kudos!

    Read my post here- http://radhika-feelingfree.blogspot.in/2015/03/building-against-bullying-1000speak.html?m=1- Its for the month of March!

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Hello Dear Reader:

If you comment, I will buy you a cookie. Not really. But we can both pretend I gave you one. To get you started...what's your favorite kind of cookie? Mine is chocolate chip. I especially crave them when I'm PMS'ing.