No matter how difficult things get, we can always wrap our torn and tattered selves in our own soft embrace ~ Kristen Neff.
When we are suffering and experiencing emotional pain, when life feels unsettled and without direction, when we make mistakes or behave in ways that don’t align with who we are, or who we want to be, we often treat ourselves with harshness, criticism and judgment.
At these times our internal chatter tends to be insulting, damaging and unkind, often leading to feelings of shame and unworthiness. Cultivating a practice of self-compassion allows us to develop a healthier way of relating to ourselves. It encourages us to be gentle, calm and caring towards ourselves. Self-compassion helps us to keep going, no matter how difficult things get, and to try again when we make inevitable mistakes. Self-compassion helps us to get in touch with our suffering, rather than turning away from it. It also helps us to make really difficult, but important decisions, to step into the unknown and to grow as a person.
Developing awareness around our internal dialogue is an important first step in changing the relationship we have with ourselves. From here, we can learn strategies to help us to soothe, calm and comfort our pain, to dig into our courage and to move forward in life. Self-compassion helps us to build kindness, love and tenderness from within, which means that we can reach for it at any time, no matter how difficult things may get, or how alone we may feel.
If you would like to explore your historical narrative and internal dialogue, build self-compassion and release yourself from unhelpful story lines, please feel free to contact our wonderful team at Little Windows to make an appointment.
Kate O’Connor, Psychologist.