I’ve been asked a few times, “Isn’t Self-Compassion just feeling sorry for yourself?”
Some people think that self-compassion equals looking at oneself with pity. For some, pity is a negative word. They see it as looking at oneself as a pathetic and sorry excuse for a person. That isn’t self-compassion; it is self-disdain. Self-compassion is looking at our humanness and our situation with empathy, concern, and kindness.
Self-compassion – a healthy balance of truth and grace, results in accepting responsibility for a failure, learning from it, but not beating ourselves up for it as if we should be better than that. In fact, that kind of thinking is nothing more than wounded pride… being disappointed that we aren’t more perfect…which we aren’t.
Self-disdain usually ends up in non-action…often staying stuck ruminating about faults and mistakes, without taking actions to correct personality weaknesses or right a wrong. Self-compassion results in a balanced assessment of oneself (both strengths and weaknesses), without getting stuck in self-hatred. This compassionate view then leads to action as needed:
~ Forgiveness from God
~ Forgiveness of self
~ Drawing near to God for comfort and direction
~ Compassion and understanding toward self
~ Movement forward in areas of concern
I hope the distinction between self-compassion and self-disdain is helpful for you. It’s normal to be a little fuzzy on this. Here’s something compassionate you can say to yourself if you’d like.
“Wow, I never realized that self-compassion isn’t just feeling sorry for myself. It helps to know that I can be kind to myself, and it doesn’t mean I’m just being a baby. When I show compassion and understanding for myself, it actually helps me keep trying and take care of areas I’m concerned about. This sure helps, and gives me hope and calms me on the inside. Next time I feel stuck, I’ll try being kind to myself in the areas I’m struggling.”
Questions To Ponder…
~ What is your reaction to the distinction between self-compassion and self-disdain?
~ Are there areas you’ve felt stuck in ruminating about past failures, that has kept you stuck?
~ What type of empathy, understanding and kindness are you longing to hear from yourself?
I hope this post has been helpful in addressing the question, Isn’t Self-Compassion Feeling Sorry for Yourself? I would love to hear your response to what I shared. Please share with anyone you think could benefit.