“What if we each have this ardent inner suitor
who is writing us love letters every day that often go unopened?” – Tosha Silver
Recently I’ve been learning more about the difference
between self esteem and self compassion from Dr. Kristin Neff.
Self Esteem is about regarding our self worth positively –
the problem is, in our culture especially it is common to feel pressured to be special and above average to approve of ourselves.
Self esteem is often dependent on things like looking a certain way, how ‘successful’ we perceive to be, our performance,
social approval, comparing mind, etc.
Self Compassion, on the other hand, is simply about relating to ourselves kindly, whether we feel ‘positive’ or ‘negative’, whether we ‘succeed’ or ‘fail’.
It is not dependent on success or failure with social approval,
comparison, outside appearances, being better or worse than others, etc.
“It’s a more stable, helpful friend that is not going to desert you
when you need it most, the way self esteem can,” says Dr. Neff.
Also, when combined with awareness and self soothing touch,
self-compassion physiologically releases oxytocin & opiates 🙂
Calming our threat/defense system.
Frequently in modern times, threats are not so much to our body, but our self confidence. So, we see a problem in ourselves, we attack it/ourselves.
Self criticism is a double whammy: we become both the attacker and the attacked.
Not surprisingly, self criticism is very damaging, increasing inflammation, depression,
poor sleep quality = impacting all areas of our life and well being.
So….next time you are harassing yourself,
or beating yourself up about something, try this:
Place your hand on your belly, heart or forehead,
feel the warmth of your own touch,
and the movement of your breathing,
and offer yourself compassion, acknowledging:
‘This is a moment of suffering/challenge/fill in the blank.
How human of me to feel this way.
May I be kind to myself in this moment.’
Or other words that resonate for you, language you might offer to a best friend:
“Yes. This really hurts.
And, it doesn’t change your worthiness of love or belonging.
I am here for you.”
Believe me, I used to completely suck at giving myself compassion,
but just like any good skill, it was something that grew roots
through practice and learning over time.
I can feel it’s anti-inflammatory medicine, physically, energetically,
mentally, emotionally, soulfully – it’s no joke!
Packed with nutrient magic.
I have even used it successfully to help me fall asleep. 🙂
If you feel called, you are wholeheartedly invited:
Compassionate Stillness: For You, for the World
A weekend Restorative and Yogic Sleep Retreat
“This magnificent refuge, is inside you.
Enter.” – St. Teresa of Avila
Saturday & Sunday, Nov 19 & 20, 9:30-4pm, @ Roundhouse Farm
Cost: $259 Early Bird (until Oct 31), $295 after
Vibrant organic lunch included both days