Does Being Kind to Myself = Do Whatever I Want?
It’s been almost a year and a half since my book; Give Yourself a Break: Turning Your Inner Critic into a Compassionate Friend was released. It has been a joy to share with others through my blog, speaking, videos and social media how helpful and transforming it is to become a compassionate friend to yourself.
Sometimes readers wonder, “If I’m compassionate with myself, Isn’t that giving myself permission to stay the way I am, or license to do whatever I want?”
I love this question, because it is important to be balanced in how you treat yourself and others, no matter what changes you are making,
While I can understand that concern, the opposite is actually true. When we don’t have self-compassion (and instead carry a lot of self-contempt and self-criticism), we feel a lot of deep hurt and shame.
These feelings are so painful that we can rarely tolerate them for long. We push them down, but eventually they come up—and usually with a fury. When we are in this state of emotional pain without a way to process these feelings, we will do anything to not feel them. This makes us more likely to sin or act out our pain through negative behaviors and addictions.
Self-compassion doesn’t take away the sin, the mistake, or the need to change
It soothes the hurt and self-contempt. This soothing makes us less likely to act out our pain through our behaviors.
Remember, self-compassion is a mixture of truth (seeing the reality of both my strengths & gifts as well as my faults & sin) and grace (seeing myself of great worth and value, created by God). Being able to see ourselves in this balanced way helps us address whatever needs to change in our lives directly. As we address growth areas in our lives, we can also be kind and compassionate with ourselves, just as we would to a good friend who is struggling.
Self-compassion helps us to directly deal with and change unhealthy patterns in our lives
A while back a reader shared that treating herself with compassion actually helps her do the 12–steps. Before she learned to interact with herself in this kind way she wasn’t able to go very far in the steps because she was overcome with shame. Treating herself with compassion actually helped her do her program. That makes so much sense.
So, as you think ahead to 2017 and contemplate ways you’d like to grow this year, please make sure and add ways to extend kindness and compassion to yourself in the process J
I would love to get your input
Does it make sense to you that self-compassion helps a person grow and change, rather than act out and do what you want? Do you have any examples where you this has been true? As you look to 2017, how can you incorporate self-compassion, especially regarding goals you set?
Please leave your comments below and share on social media or via e-mail with others who might benefit!