I just came across this article entitled “Self-compassion may matter more than self-esteem” which discusses how “self-compassion may be the most important life skill, imparting resilience, courage, energy and creativity.”
I love how the article defines self-compassion as mindfulness, common humanity and kindness. To me, these words are the essence of yoga. Not only that, they define how I hope to teach and write and just plain live. In fact, I recognized myself in this article, for these are the very things I recently discovered are part of my mission and purpose in life.
Self-compassion is the reason why I teach, the thing I most want others to take away from my class, because it is the thing I most need to learn. As someone trying to stop being hard on myself and shameful of any trial or tribulation or mistake, self-compassion is key.
Self-compassion takes the ego and competitiveness out of confidence, which can be shaken by life circumstances. It teaches us to open up to the entirety of our human experience, including loss and failure. This is the mindfulness piece— opening and accepting all of it. Like the Buddha says, “Praise and blame and loss, pleasure and sorrow come and go like the wind. To be happy, rest like a great tree in the midst of them all.”
I think of self-compassion as diminishing the shame around being human and fallible. It is self-forgiveness in its most undiluted form: to accept ourselves for what we are- completely human and imperfect. Recognizing that failure and loss is a human experience, not a personal one, is part of finding common humanity.
A little mantra I like to use is “I am human and doing my best.” This is where kindness comes in.
What do you do to find more compassion for yourself?