“Self-compassion is simply giving the same kindness to ourselves that we would give to others” — Christopher Germer
Self-compassion in its essence is to be kind to oneself. This is a forgotten practice to many, and most don’t realize that they’ve either forgotten this or haven’t done it in a while. Every person should value their being, their personality, their body, their mind, every aspect of who they are should be valued. If we are going to be cherished by anyone, then it should be ourselves who cherish us the most.
After all, we cannot take care of others if we cannot take of ourselves.
The smallest things can have the biggest effect more times than people realize. Waking up in the morning and making the bed, spending time doing a hobby, or just taking a shower. These are just a few things that could make the biggest difference even if they seem small, but everyone has days when these small things feel impossible to do.
We all have days when it’s hard to get out of bed.
We all have days when it’s hard to get in the shower.
We all have days when we’re not okay.
And these are the days when self-compassion is needed the most. It can change someone’s whole perspective just learning about self-compassion. Understanding what it means to be kind towards yourself, acknowledging when days are harder than usual, and noticing when we need our own kindness. These are the steps towards learning and practicing self-compassion.
Because if we don’t notice when we need help how can we help ourselves?
We can’t, and we won’t.
Not until we do notice.
“A closed mouth doesn’t get fed”
You don’t get what you don’t ask for. I’ve been told this saying above more times than I can count, but I’m grateful for it. It can come off as harsh, especially to someone who’s already struggling on the inside. But the meaning behind it is valuable, and it can help when those days that are harder to get through come.
We need ourselves more than anyone else. This statement applies on all days, not just the harder days.
Bringing myself to help myself was, and still is, one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Waking up on morning and realizing that I will never be able to get out of this hole where I felt so alone, angry, and depressed unless I helped myself was one of the most challenging things I had to come to terms with. But I did it. So much time had passed at that point in my life, and I was lucky that I had come to realize that I needed myself. Not someone to come save me and fix all my problems and understand my feelings, but me. I needed me to do those things, and I would not help myself unless I asked myself to. Unless I pushed myself too.
I’m forever thankful that I did. I’m thankful for myself, and the growth that I’ve made. Don’t get me wrong I do have people in my life who support and love me, but it’s different when there’s other people there for you when you’re not there for yourself. You could be surrounded by hundreds of people, or just a handful of people and still be struggling to stand. I was. I have a few people in my life that I cherish, and they’re there for me when I need them. They were there during that time in my life. But I needed myself to help me stand in order to grow.
And because of self-compassion and self-appreciation I was able to help myself. I learned how to practice self-love and show myself that I appreciate who I am as a person and how far I’ve come. My journey started with journaling and practicing words of affirmation. One of my best friend’s journey started with skin care and self-dates. Another girl I met during my process of learning about self-compassion told me she had started her journey by having conversations with herself, telling herself why she appreciated life.
Everyone’s journey is different. How we come to learn about kindness will be different, and how we apply it to ourselves will also be different. But it can change everything.
Sometimes the person you need to experience kindness from is yourself.
This post was previously published on medium.com.
You may also like these posts on The Good Men Project:
|White Fragility: Talking to White People About Racism||Escape the “Act Like a Man” Box||The Lack of Gentle Platonic Touch in Men’s Lives is a Killer||What We Talk About When We Talk About Men|
Photo credit: Zulmaury Saavedra on Unsplash