“So what is self-compassion? What does it mean exactly?
As I’ve defined it, self-compassion entails three core components. First, it requires self-kindness, that we be gentle and understanding with ourselves rather than harshly critical and judgmental. Second, it requires recognition of our common humanity, feeling connected with others in the experience of life rather than feeling isolated and alienated by our suffering. Third, it requires mindfulness—that we hold our experience in balanced awareness, rather than ignoring our pain or exaggerating it. We must achieve and combine these three essential elements in order to be truly self-compassionate.
This means that unlike self-esteem, the good feelings of self-compassion do not depend on being special and above average, or on meeting ideal goals. Instead, they come from caring about ourselves—fragile and imperfect yet magnificent as we are. Rather than pitting ourselves against other people in an endless comparison game, we embrace what we share with others and feel more connected and whole in the process. And the good feelings of self-compassion don’t go away when we mess up or things go wrong. In fact, self-compassion steps in precisely where self-esteem lets us down—whenever we fail or feel inadequate.”
From: “Why Self-Compassion Trumps Self-Esteem” by Kristin Neff @ Greater Good.
This is a very good article.
I’ve been working on practising self-compassion for about a year, now, and I’m calmer and more content than I was before.
It has helped me heal after my breakdown and illness. I don’t beat myself up for my own stupidity any more.
I accept what happened to me, and tell myself that there was no way I could have known that staying awake for several nights would trigger a manic episode and an acute psychotic breakdown.
This happened to me, and I must continue to work on healing, and moving on with my life. It was several months of a hellish nightmare, but I came through it, and I am recovering.
I have learned to accept that I need to be kind and patient with myself. Rebuilding oneself after you have been shattered into what feels like a thousand pieces takes time.