I came upon Sanch’s blog in the Write Tribe group and have followed it since for her thought process seems to match mine. As I began to interact with her through DMs and chats, I discovered a multi faceted woman who writes (her heart out), loves to explore the outdoors (via hikes and treks), is a psychologist by profession, loves to reviews books and is an out-and-out a cat lover (you can catch her cat love on her instagram ) and is a warm and wholesome soul. I was thrilled to have her do a guest post for me and hope you show it some love too. You could also read her previous guest post on Body Shaming.
As women, we are generally socialized to put others before ourselves. It doesn’t matter if we become raging feminists in our young adult lives, the early scars of caring for others, thinking about others and doing things for others continue to burn through. In the process, we put ourselves second or third or just last on the list of priorities. We also learn to beat ourselves up if we don’t meet these standards set by society.
I too have fallen in this trap. Over the years, when I have been in relationships, without intending to, I’ve lost a bit of myself. I’ve given more to the point where I have then had to pull back the other extreme and become distant or worse, cruel. Then I beat myself up for not being nice. My work involves being compassionate. And I can always manage to do that for my clients but to my own detriment at times. Bottom-line is, I can show compassion to everyone but not myself. I can forgive others for mistakes that I’ll beat myself up for.
In the last few months, I have been reading a lot more on self-compassion and attempting to practice it myself. Self-compassion means being kind to oneself. It’s about acknowledging our imperfections and being kind to ourselves in those difficult times. It involves being mindful and noticing our emotions and feelings.
I used to think being kind to myself meant giving myself a free pass. Of not improving myself. I thought the only way to motivate myself or growing as a person was by beating myself up. But you know what? It never did motivate me. It never did improve me.
All it did was make me unhappier with myself and hate myself.
Instead, now, I’m slowly starting to acknowledge the mistakes and tell myself it’s okay to not be perfect. I let myself sit with the discomfort of whatever I’m not proud of and not automatically beat myself up. I later evaluate what I have done without judging myself too harshly and think about what I can do. In the end though, I try to allow myself to be imperfect as long as I have not hurt anyone deliberately. And even then, I will accept the imperfection and later see what I can change.
Self-compassion is still a work in progress for me. I fail often but then need to practice it even when I fail. Hopefully, with time, I’ll get better at it.
It can only do me good.
How are you with self-compassion?
This blog post has been written for the month-long festivities on my blog as its turns one as self hosted!