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Self-Compassion: A Gift You Can’t Afford to Miss

Is self-compassion missing from your life?

Self-compassion is a gift you can’t afford to miss. It’s important to treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding you treat a friend, an acquaintance and a co-worker.

self compassion

What is Self-Compassion?

Self-compassion is a practice of goodwill. It’s not based on good feelings. When we’re living life and are unable to control things the practice of self-compassion is used in order to experience what is out of our control. 

Self-compassion is a loving way to create a connected presence in your life. When you focus on treating yourself with kindness you’re moving away from your self-judgement and criticism. This allows yourself to experience difficult times or illness that are present in your life.

When you’re looking to practice self-compassion you’re checking in with yourself to notice: what do I need at this moment? When the illness feels overwhelming and overtaking your life pause and notice, can you be kind to yourself when you’re feeling the suffering?

Elements of Self Compassion

There are three elements to self-compassion.

  1. Self-compassion versus self-judgment. Self-compassion is creating space to be warm and understanding to yourself when you’re suffering, when you fail or feel inadequate. Feel this space instead of ignoring the pain or degrading yourself with self-criticism. Self-compassion is about recognizing the difficulties you’re experiencing and being gentle when confronted with what is painful whether it be emotional or physical.
  2. Common humanity versus isolation and frustration. This is the idea of not having things exactly as you want. This is often accompanied by a rational but pervasive sense of isolation. For example, thinking if I were the only person suffering, making mistakes rather than all humans suffer. The very definition of being human means that one is mortal,  vulnerable and imperfect. Self-compassion involves recognizing the suffering and personal inadequacy is part of the shared human experience something you go through rather than something that is just about you.
  3. Create mindfulness v. over-identification. Self-compassion requires taking a balanced approach to the negative emotions and feelings and not suppressing or create an exaggerated response. Coming into the equilibrium stance arises from the process of relating personal experiences to those who are also suffering. You cannot ignore the pain and feel compassion for it at the same time. mindfulness requires that your identifying with the thoughts and feelings so that you’re not caught up and sucked in by the negative response.

Autoimmune Illness & Self-Compassion

When you’re trying to navigate your autoimmune illness this idea of self-compassion may trigger some thoughts & feelings. Managing an illness and the shifts that accompany the illness may create overwhelm. I say this because I’ve been there!  Being able to come into self-compassion is a gift to give yourself on your journey.

Let’s look at what self-compassion is not.

  1. Self-compassion is not a pity party. It is not you feeling sorry for yourself it’s allowing you to tune out and become willing to accept experiencing knowledge the difficult feelings you’re experiencing with more kindness by creating this self-compassion. You’re supporting yourself through a difficult experience and help create a better state of mind.
  2. Self-compassion is not a weakness. You don’t have to live life being the woman of steel. You’re allowed to create self-compassion and know it’s one of the most powerful sources of coping and building resilience. When we’re managing our autoimmune illness self-compassion can be the difference between surviving and thriving.
  3. Perhaps you believe self-compassion will make you complacent with your illness. Self-compassion will not undermine your motivation. It will not create the belief you can’t do the things in life.  It’s recognizing that at this moment you need to pause and not bring in judgment. It’s a way to strengthen your personal accountability because you’re acknowledging the limits that your body and mind are telling you to honour.

Take a moment and allow yourself to tune send a notice do you give yourself self-compassion when times get tough? Or do you access self-compassion? If you’re hard on yourself and being judgmental I invite you to consider this negative, heavy emotion that creates or perhaps triggers a flare in your illness. Take an opportunity to sit with the difficult emotions and pain and just be compassionate to yourself.

Practice Self-Compassion

  1. Practice Forgiveness – stop punishing yourself for your illness. Accept that you’re in a difficult experience and be kind to yourself. Remind yourself you’re doing the best you can do at the moment. Maybe it’s a sticky note on your computer or in your wallet.
  2. Cultivate the Growth Mindset – embrace the challenges of your illness rather than avoiding or pretending they don’t exist. Don’t give up. Don’t criticize yourself or compare yourself to others. Find inspiration and your achievements, focus on your strengths and all the wins in a day. rather than avoid challenges, persist in finding meaning in them, and don’t give up on yourself.
  3. Express Gratitude – start each day with gratitude whether you lay in bed and bring to mind what you’re grateful for today, or journal what you’re grateful for no matter what it is. Maybe it’s being grateful for the sun shining.

Ready to get started. Follow this link and download a week of sheets to get you started on finding Gratitude each day!

Let me know how it goes. I would love to hear from you.


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