I’ve been writing a lot about the importance of Self Esteem, but now I’d like to take a good look at something that is just as important to build on. Self-compassion is a hot topic right now within all aspects of society urging people to look after themselves, especially their bodies with healthy eating and exercise. But what about our minds and souls? How do we take care of these? Most of us find it fairly easy to show compassion for others; in fact, we can be pretty good at putting others first and caring for those we love. But what about ourselves?
Take a look at the checklist below. Try to write down the statements that apply to you just as they are written on the list.
How many did you need to write down? If someone else was doing this exercise and had written down all the things you did, what would you say to them? If your inner child felt the same way you do, what would you say to him/her? Can you see how hard you are on yourself? Do you think that’s fair? If someone else was being hard on themselves, what would you say? Do you think other people deserve to do kind things for themselves? What would you say to a friend who was focusing on all their faults and flaws? How would you treat a young person who was suffering emotionally? What kinds of things do you think people should be punished for? Why do you think you are any different than all those “other” people? I think that is an extremely important question. I would have to ask myself, am I different? How am I different? Do I need to be better than everyone else? Well, you might say yes, but that would be a core belief. One that needs to be challenged. You can get some ideas on how to change core beliefs from my post on Self-Esteem Part 3. Remember that if you find yourself really struggling with this that help is out there, you just need to ask.
Being kind to ourselves can sometimes be difficult. The harder it is for you, the more you will suffer–emotionally. If statements like…I don’t deserve kindness…come up for you, maybe you need to ask for help from a therapist or social worker. I definitely needed help to see that I deserved kindness, that I deserved happiness. I felt guilty about happiness, actually, and sometimes still do! It can be difficult to believe these things, but we have to try for our own well-being. To bring ourselves out of a depressed state, it’s important to be kind–to ourselves.
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