The Buddha said, “You, yourself, as much as anybody else in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
In the past year, I have been on a mission to understand and practice self-compassion, which is sometimes defined as “extending compassion to one’s self in instances of perceived inadequacy, failure, or general suffering,” and what I have learned has made me realize that this practice is at the heart of everything.
How will you practice self-compassion?
Talking about practicing self-compassion and actually doing it are quite two different birds. All throughout DBT, there are mentionings of practicing self-compassion. And really, I’ve never been good at it. And frankly, I’ve never tried at it very hard either.
Below the surface, there is just so much self-loathing. Even now, when I’m doing better, I still really hate myself for a variety of reasons. From the fact that I can’t seem to keep shit straight at home to the “failures” I see in my interpersonal relationships. I turn quickly in judgement of myself, over and over. At the slightest action or inaction, I belittle myself in my head. I am not sure I could be kind to myself, if I tried, and I really am not sure how to try.
My thought is, “S0 what, you let yourself off the hook for things just in the name of self-compassion?” I guess so. I don’t really know. You criticize yourself less, see yourself as more human, give yourself the benefit of the doubt? I don’t know how to do that. I don’t know if I can even try.
But I find myself telling people I care about to be kind to themselves. Be good to yourself, be kind, be loving. I can encourage that in others but I can’t pick up a torch for myself? This topic hits a raw nerve, because although I have come so far, I still, deep down, hate me. I’m sure that isn’t quite right, but it is so.