Joyfully accepting ourselves. Something that sounds so easy is so hard for a lot of Americans. Beyond our own internal self-judgment, we have a ton of external forces working against us.
This is an unprecedented time in our society. Hidden behind computers and social media, people feel a false sense of power. A lot of people in the world feel insecure about themselves and are looking for ways to inflate their own egos. So instead of trying to heal their own inner wounds, they bully, harass, and harm other people through their words online. They put others down so that they can feel good in comparison.
But this strategy comes at a price. People get hurt. They become emotionally scarred sometimes physically hurt. When harassment happens to the wrong person, the consequences can become deadly. The rates of teen suicide have gone up 70% in the past 10 years, a direct correlation with the growth of social media.
So enough is enough.
We have to become kinder and gentler towards ourselves. It is time to command joy through self-compassion. Starting today, we end the self-judgment and self-evaluation. Starting today, we simply accept ourselves with an open heart. We treat ourselves with the same compassion and caring we would show someone we love.
Having compassion for ourselves feels unnatural to a lot of people. When we are a hot mess and going through a rough patch in life, we may think “if I am too self-compassionate, won’t I just be lazy and selfish?”
Here’s the deal. Self-criticism – despite being socially accepted – is not at all helpful. It makes things worse. We don’t make ourselves a better person by beating ourselves up all the time. Instead, we become inadequate and insecure. We beat ourselves up so much that we become full of self-hate.
We can easily turn the self-hate into self-compassion with three key things.
1) Self-kindness. Becoming gentler and understanding of ourselves instead of harshly critical and judgmental.
2) Connectedness. Recognizing our common humanity by feeling connect with others instead of feeling isolated and alienated.
3) Mindfulness. Practicing staying in the moment. Instead of worrying about the future or reflecting on the past, holding onto each moment. Here and now.
In order to be truly self-compassionate, we have to work on those three areas.
The best part about self-compassion is that it opens us up to a sense of calmness and inner peace. Instead of the constant questioning “Am I as good as they are? Am I good enough?”, we fully accept ourselves.
We stop the constant self-criticism, we start the self-love.
While it takes some work to develop self-compassion, especially if you have spent your entire life being self-critical, nothing else in life can help us feel more alive! It’s worth it.
So, tell me, in the comments below, how have you helped yourself feel more self-compassion?