Are you aware of self criticism? How many times a day do you say something unkind to yourself? It can be shocking to discover the amount of time we spend flagellating ourselves with self criticism. It is common to say cruel things to ourselves that we would never dream of saying to a friend, our children or even our worst enemy!
Self compassion entails being warm and understanding to ourselves when we suffer, fail or feel inadequate. It also involves recognising our common humanity, by this I mean that we are all human and make mistakes. It can be very isolating to feel that you are the only person suffering and liberating to realise that you are not alone. Mindfulness doesn’t take away negative feelings and emotions, but can allow us to view them in a more balanced way. It teaches us to be non-judgmental. We cannot ignore our pain and feel compassion for it at the same time.
So where does self-compassion start? The answer is right now. Try to become aware of how you are treat yourself and in doing so you can start to change the pattern of self-criticism to a pattern of self-kindness.