It's been a rough week... learning self-compassion.
I had a rough Friday. I yelled at my co-worker, I didn’t listen to my mate. I was short with my friend. Ever feel like that?
Like the whole world does not understand you and that no one truly understands what is on your plate? You may be a very giving person but your fuse is a lot shorter lately. A little compassion fatigue may be setting in. Normally, you give and give and give. But today, you are all tapped out.
What is this moment calling for? I would challenge you to take a moment to yourself and seek a little self-compassion.
What is self-compassion? It really is caring for yourself as you would toward another. It is recognizing the common experience that we share as humans and recognize we are not alone in what we are experiencing. It is being open to this present moment and choosing to forgive yourself. It is noticing that maybe you feel depleted right now and need a moment to be still and listen to what your body, mind and heart are telling you.
Recently, I was on a plane and I heard the same safety speech I always do “when oxygen masks deploy, place yours on yourself first, then assist your neighbour”. It hit me like a ton of bricks! I need to help myself. It’s not selfish, it’s self-protective. In this Friday moment, I decided I needed a day off to reflect. What triggered this response in me? Maybe it’s because I was working 14-hour days and had no balance. Maybe it was because I didn’t give myself the time I needed this week to regroup. I forgot to take care of myself. It’s really easy to do. We tell ourselves – I should do this and I should do that. But when do we also take time to say, I should take care of myself. This is so essential – just like with the oxygen mask.
How can I switch gears and act with self-compassion?
Today, I can choose to forgive myself for what I didn’t do and chose to accept myself with my faults and imperfections, realizing, others have moments just like me. I can protect myself by taking time out of my day with time just for me and enjoy something that is life-giving - even if it’s something small like sitting in the sun and feeling the warmth of its rays, or mindfully drinking a cup of coffee and feeling the warmth of this drink fill me. Perhaps it’s noticing what gives me energy and ensuring I get 20 min of this every day. Perhaps it is laughing with a friend (the endorphins do help!). Perhaps it is noticing what negative self-talk I have been saying without even realizing it. Maybe I need to remind myself of a phrase such as “May I be kind to myself and accept myself, forgive myself and even love myself in this moment”.
I know this reflection today helped me realize I need to introduce some self-compassion into my day – even schedule it. Another reinforcing thought is to write myself a letter with words I need to hear but am too afraid to say out loud, words of compassion and love. And may I after reading it be able to give myself the compassion I need to be loved even now.
How will you choose self-compassion today?