Most of us have come across the term ‘self-compassion’, we all interpret it in different ways but despite that, I believe that a lot of us fail to realize what it actually means, and even if we do, we struggle to implement it in our lives. However, if we did, a lot of us would not be fighting our feelings or fighting the way we feel or the mistakes we made or make.

Self-compassion focuses on being open to one’s own suffering, to not avoid or disconnect from it, and to generate the desire to alleviate one’s own suffering and heal oneself with kindness. When some of us slip, have a moment of weakness, or face failure – we tend to be extremely hard on ourselves, we blame ourselves and in most cases, we also hate ourselves for falling back into that cycle but self-compassion is not resenting yourself for the mistakes you made, for the genuine feelings you feel or the failures you faced, it’s important to be aware of the idea that it’s not a bad thing, it doesn’t make you weak, it doesn’t make you worthless – it just makes you human. It’s all about being a little kinder to yourself. When you adopt such a perspective, it is likely to reduce the amount of pain you’re feeling and also helps avoid getting wrapped up in one’s own emotions which are probably not even as bad as we make it out to be. It’s strange but true that we intentionally put ourselves through hell – whether it’s to do with going back to things or people who are toxic for our well-being or just the idea that “suffering” makes us look at ourselves as weak beings and this notion needs to become non-existent.

When most of us face a negative emotion or thought, our first instinct is to suppress it, deny it, or distract ourselves from it – we believe that not facing the pain you’re feeling will heal us but it does just the opposite, it can break you to a point where you feel completely helpless. It can do more harm than good, however, it is important to consider that “suppressing your emotions” is largely based on the societal values of our generation – we are reminded and told that “feeling your feelings is weak”, “be a man”, “just snap out of it”, “get over it”, “you’re so immature”, “why are you so sensitive?”, “it’s not so bad” – and when we hear such statements, we eventually start asking ourselves one simple question followed by one simple assumption: “What’s wrong with me?” and “I shouldn’t feel this way” – we genuinely start believing what other people have to say for how we feel, we fall into the trap of self-blame and become self-critical towards the discomfort we experience and this notion is completely absurd and wrong on all levels. The truth is and what each of us needs to realize is that when we do recognize our pain and suffering, we begin to act compassionately towards ourselves in turn, validating our emotions and experience. We are gentle with ourselves in times when we feel like we’re going to fall apart or when we face any failures, we step onto the path of positively relating to ourselves rather than negatively looking at ourselves.

The reason I am writing this article is that I have struggled with this for most of my life and I still am struggling with it and I know for a fact that we all are surrounded with one person or multiple people who fail to realize the difference between being compassionate towards others and being compassionate towards oneself in difficult times and I believe each of us needs to be aware of the fact that we don’t have to feel like this. I have a tendency to care about people regardless of how they may have treated me, I have this constant need to be loved and I do believe it has a lot to do with my upbringing and my experiences throughout life – so I eventually developed the practice of blaming my personality for it, blaming myself for it. I put myself through hell with the way I perceived every situation and saw my act of caring as “pointless and stupid” when in fact it’s not, it’s not me, it had nothing to do with me and I repeatedly make it a point to remind myself every single day. No, I don’t blame other people for it either because how is that going to help? I know a lot of us go through the same exact scenario but try self-reflecting on what the real possibilities actually are.

From a psychological perspective, there are multiple ways to practice self-care and self-compassion – but I think one thing that’s always helped me is the art of writing and being mindful. We tend to worry about our future, our past experiences but we never really focus on the present and I think to just be in the moment, to just be present is everything. Another concept is of writing – it is one of the most powerful forms of self-compassion, it helps you process, externalize and validate your emotions and feelings without being judgmental or critical towards yourself and it turns something which came across as absolutely meaningless to something which is suddenly meaningful and so much more.

For everyone who is experiencing pain or is in the process of healing, just know that it’s okay, don’t be so hard on yourself – you’re more human than ever to feel so deeply, and you’re powerful enough to want to be better and heal from it. You don’t have to change who you are; you just need to acknowledge the cause of your pain and suffering and eventually take one step ahead. You’re already strong, just keep going.

“Self-compassion does not avoid pain, but rather embraces it with kindness and goodwill that is rooted in the experience of being fully human.”

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