Learning Self Compassion

Maiden meditation

Image via Wikipedia

Lying around all day doing very little but blaming myself for my inability  to do anything  but lie around all day is an act of self defeat.  Despite the fact that my lethargy probably comes from a cycle of insomnia and nightmares that have been haunting me all week (and seem to be an epidemic as many peopleI know are complaining of the same problem) I, in typical fashion, blame myself. I’ve written before about how powerful I think dream energy or sleep energy could be if we only learned to make it work for the good  rather than for mass cases of insomnia. (See this post The Power of Sleep and Dreaming « Woman Wielding Words).

I reached out briefly to the Facebook world asking for input about ideas to write about, hoping that would kick-start me into doing something. In typical fashion, I got a couple of amusing responses including:

“Fuzzy sleep stealing animals. They need to steal your sleep, but why?” and

“Secret agent cows with a mission to capture extra-terrestrial aliens, with daytime jobs of keeping our borders safe. Something like a part-time “men” in black and white. None of those brown cows, please.”

But the one that resonates most is from one of my dear friends who always manages to ground me with simple words and wise understanding. She wrote “self compassion.”

Message received , Sue, I am not practicing self-compassion. I don’t know that I have ever mastered that art. But I know it is something that I need to develop. So my first step, before deciding to blog, was to look up self compassion on the internet. I stumbled upon this website: Self-Compassion. I took the how self-compassionate are you test, and unsurprisingly am low in that department.

That has to change. Where do I begin? On the website is a guided meditation that seems like a good start, and I hope to do that later today. But that’s just one step.

I begin here, in words. This blog has become a place for me to be honest with myself. Perhaps I am too honest in a public forum, but it is easier to be honest if you know people are reading this. I also believe that others have experienced some of what I am going through, and so I feel less alone. (Note that according to the above website, feeling isolated is one aspect of the lack of self-compassion). My isolation becomes less as I write or as I read other blogs. I’ve been doing that more often lately, and trying to respond when I have something intelligent to say, because we don’t write in a vacuum. When we blog, we want to know our blogs reach someone, even if only a few people.

When I write, I allow myself to express myself.  When I write, I feel compassion for myself. When I write, I try to let go of my inner critic and just let the words flow. Of course, the critic comes out sometimes depending on what I am writing or if I’m editing. And sometimes the inner-critic censors myself, but the more I write, the more I can overcome that. The more I write, the kinder I become to myself.

So, blogging universe, I hope you forgive me if I use this space sometimes to learn self compassion. I also hope, however, that as I learn it I share my learning.  I share this journey as a gift to you, but also to myself.

Welcome and thank you.