Anytime Resolution - As the name suggests, it is a resolution that can be taken up anytime when you feel the need and are ready for a change. I hope to provide you with some useful suggestions that will bring you closer to living a more flourishing life in various aspects.
Today's Anytime Resolution is to cultivate and pratice self-compassion.
This important lesson first came to me while I was going through my treatment for Moyamoya Disease. Despite my positivity, there were many days when it was hard to face the day, which was mainly filled with blood-taking, waiting for results and frequent occurence of mini-strokes.
Instead of being compassionate, I was often harsh and held high expectations of myself; that I should be grateful instead of feeling pessimistic. Being a Psychologist I ought to use the arsenal of coping skills that I have in dealing with my volatile emotions and not succumb to despair and depression.
The more I thought like that, the worse and more negative I became. Are you surprise? How many of you are the harshest critic and enemy of yourself?
I learned the hard way that I needed to be kind and patient with myself. In the early days, I literally chanted the statement to me whenever I caught myself being unkind.
When I couldn't do the things that used to come naturally to me like remembering facts I said, "be kind and gentle to yourself". Again "be kind and gentle to yourself" when I felt like crying and wallowing in self-pity. I allowed myself to cry instead of keeping up a brave front.
Expressing compassion to self takes a lot of practice and discipline. It is a battle worth fighting and the evidence supporting this is growing. In Go Easy on Yourself, a New Wave of Research Urges, the author writes, "giving ourselves a break and accepting our imperfections may be the first step toward better health."
Despite what we think and believe, self-flagellating doesn't move us forward. This is a lesson that we need to unlearn in order acquire a healthier and more balanced view and attitude towards ourselves.
Another support came from Karen Armstrong in her book, Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life, where a particular sentence in Chapter 3 screams at me: "If you cannot love yourself, you cannot love other people either." That definitely made me think of the way I have been treating myself.
I have been on the path of self-compassion for the last few years and while I am a slow student, I have greatly benefited from it. I find it easier now to let go of oversights and mistakes that I inevitably make in life. That also translates to me letting go of oversights and mistakes that my husband has made.
Are you ready for a change of mindset? If you are, this is a good place to continue your journey.
Know of anyone who is perfectionist and hard on himself or herself? Feel free to share this post with them. As always, I'd love to hear from you and appreciate you liking the post if you have enjoyed it.
Remember, when you fail to practice self-compassion - chant "be kind and gentle to yourself".
- Treat your spouse as you would your best friend.
- Create your own personal commandments
- Identify and nurture your tribe