You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection. ~Buddha
If you spoke to your best friend the way you speak to yourself, would you still be friends?
If your best friend says to you, “I screwed up” or “I embarrassed myself,” do you tell her what a loser she is, that she’ll never get it right, and she might as well give up? I bet not. But what if the one who messed up is you? For many of us, the response can be brutal. “I can’t believe you did that! What’s wrong with you? I bet they’re all talking about what an idiot you are.”
My younger sister confided to me (she shared it on a previous blog post, so I’m sure she won’t mind if I repeat it here) that when she gets upset or “loses it,” she often thinks, “There’s the real me.” But what if she spoke to herself like I would speak to her. “You’re human. We’ve all been there. What do you need? More sleep (a massage, chocolate, sister time….).”
I’ve been practicing friendly self-talk for a while now (practicing being the key word), but another sister recently stepped it up a notch for me. (Aren’t sisters great?) She suggested choosing a pet name that someone I love has used for me and starting the self talk that way. Our Grandma used to call her “Lovey,” so now she starts her self-encouragement with “Lovey, it’s okay….” As she said, it’s harder to beat Lovey up.
Here are a couple of quotes that hit home for me:
“Often we treat certain aspects of ourselves as junk, having no value. We try to throw parts of ourselves in the garbage. But a human being is an ecosystem, and everything in that system is of value to the whole.” ~Stephen Schwartz
“An important aspect of self-compassion is to be able to empathically hold both parts of ourselves—the self that regrets a past action and the self that took the action in the first place.” ~Marshall Rosenberg
“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 Chödrön
Do you have a favorite quote? (It doesn’t have to be about self-compassion either.)
What do you do to pamper yourself?
Christie is an author and professional communicator who blogs about life transitions, wellness, mindfulness, and anything else that answers the question “So what? Now what?”