Because No One Deserves Your Love More Than You Do

Ah, late January: the cycle of setting resolutions, falling off the wagon, and beating oneself up for having come up short…we can do better than this. Would you let someone else treat you with the same disrespect? I hope not.
 
Self-compassion is a practice that allows us to stay present with feelings of disappointment, frustration, and insecurity while seeing that mistakes, limitations, and shortcomings are part of being human. Dr. Kristin Neff, leader in self-compassion, notes that this is not the same as self-pity or self-indulgence: “If we use self-compassion practice to try to make our pain go away by suppressing it or fighting against it, things will likely just get worse. With self-compassion we mindfully accept that the moment is painful, and embrace ourselves with kindness and care in response.”
 
So go for it. Strive to lose ten pounds, eat better, spend less, read more. When you waver or slide backwards, self-compassion may help you get back on your feet rather than throw in the towel. In a recent New York Times article, Neff notes: “When you’re in the trenches, do you want an enemy or an ally?”
 
Author and meditation teacher Tara Brach identifies the acronym RAIN to describe the four steps of a self-compassion practice: Recognize what is going on; Allow the experience to be what it is; Investigate with interest and care; Nourish with self-compassion.
 
To hear a ten-minute guided meditation by Dr. Brach using the RAIN approach, click here.
 
To listen to a five-minute “self compassion break” by Dr. Neff, click here.
 
Let 2018 be the year you are kinder to yourself. Set a goal, stick with it, acknowledge setbacks, and keep moving forward.