Most people struggle with the idea of self-compassion. Many people have never even heard the term nor considered the concept unless they have been involved in personal growth training or therapy. The idea that we can extend compassion to ourselves as well as others is foreign to many of us, and self-compassion is a term frequently met with puzzled expressions. What is self-compassion and how could it be relevant to our own lives?

The opposite of self-compassion is perfectionism, self-criticism and lack of self-acceptance. When we think of being compassionate toward others, we see this as a good thing. For the most part, we forgive other’s imperfections and strive to understand the reasons for their poor choices or hurtful behavior. We give them second chances and act kindly in the face of their pain. So why do we have such trouble doing this for ourselves?

Some women equate self-compassion with being too easy on themselves or letting themselves off the hook for hurtful actions or poor decisions, even if they were made under stressful circumstances. However, self-compassion is one of the best ways we can move through hard times, quit beating ourselves up and begin to accept ourselves as the amazing, imperfect human beings that we are.

Questions to Consider:
1) Do you have compassion for yourself? If yes, why? If no, why not?
2) What is the difference between self-compassion, self-love, and self-forgiveness?
3) Self-compassion is not an all or nothing state of mind. In what areas of life have you been able to feel compassion for yourself and in what situations have you been unable to respond to yourself with kindness and understanding?
4) Share any thoughts you have about how you can be more compassionate to yourself and your family during this holiday season.

Created by Dr. Beth Firestein for Wise Women Group. [Copyright 2019]