I’ve been mulling over what to write in this little safe space of mine for a few weeks now but nothing has seemed right until I watched this video on the Action for Happiness website:
In short, this professor says we so often talk about self-esteem as something we need to have more of but his studies show that cultivating more self-compassion – treating ourselves as kindly as we treat other people – is what we really need.
It spoke to me so deeply and was so helpful for how I felt when I woke up to a harsh and judgemental inner-dialogue at 4am this morning:
“You’re fat, you’re never going to cope in life, you will always be this way”
Yes, these old feelings came back with a vengeance in the early hours of the morning.
Instead of pushing them down and ignoring them but having them hang over me like a rain cloud for the next few days, I approached myself with compassion:
“I know you’re feeling a bit upset right now, and you feel scared because things in life are a bit up-in-the-air, but you will be ok.”
I gave myself a few moments to feel the emotions underneath the judgement I had placed on myself; I was tired, I felt anxious about the day ahead, I had gone from one activity to the other the night before and I hadn’t given myself any time to just be quiet and still.
In fact, writing this post I realise that I still haven’t given myself any time to just be so I’m going to wrap things up here and spend some time in stillness. And in these moments of stillness, I will be grateful for the self-compassion I was able to cultivate as it helped me through the darkness of the early hours and I know it has the ability to help me in the months and years to come.