Self compassion

Lately the term “self compassion” has been thrown around a lot in the mental health community. There has been a strong move to focus on self compassion rather than self esteem. A typical definition of self compassion is is extending compassion to one’s self in instances of perceived inadequacy, failure, or general suffering. I am glad that there is a push toward self compassion. Even in the mental health community, we are taught compassion toward our clients, but often not toward ourselves.

Dealing with the grief of my mom’s death, I have found myself returning again and again to the idea of self compassion, especially when I am trying to figure out what to do in a particular situation where I feel fatigued or overwhelmed. During those times, I find that the best way to handle the situation is to ask myself “What would I tell my best friend going through the same situation?”. It is frustrating to me that I can’t simply be compassionate with myself, but need to separate myself from the situation by asking what advice I would give another person. I’m working on this issue.

Being compassionate with myself I have canceled clients, gave myself flexibility on grading assignments and set up specific times for self care such as knitting, napping, watching tv or playing with the dogs. I’m not going to lie and say I don’t struggle with some guilt from doing these things, but I will say that focusing on self compassion, rather than “catching up” has given me the room to grieve.

I’m still working on my sister’s socks. I’m ready to start the increases for the heel. They should be done in two weeks or so. I am also looking at patterns for a shawl out of fingering weight yarn.


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