I am my own best friend. It sounds a bit (as my daughter would say) 'cringey' doesn't it? But in times of difficulty I know I can rely on myself and myself only. This is not a negative reflection of my relationships with family or friends. I am blessed in that sense and have a wonderful group of people I know I can call on. It is, rather, an evaluation over many years that 'my happiness is my business’. It is too much of a responsibility to hand over to someone else. Therefore, I 'choose' happy and that starts in my mind, in both senses of the word, with ‘self compassion’.
What is self compassion?
Self compassion is a way of relating to 'self' and it's an inside job. It is not based on an inflated sense of ‘self' and it is not based on purely positive evaluations of everything we do. Rather, it is the way we treat ourselves when we might have messed up or things aren't going great. When we feel like we are failing. We all have an internal narration and in my experience as a counsellor and generally as a human being, that narration is normally negative. You didn't get enough work done today. What is wrong with you? You are not thin, pretty, strong, clever enough. You are an unsupportive wife/husband/friend/daughter/brother. Everyone else is smashing it, why can't you? It drones on and on and some people find it impossible to switch it off. Causing depression and anxiety. Can you imagine uttering one of those comments to a friend? But I bet you have said at least one of those phrases to yourself.
In practicing self compassion you can learn to turn down the volume on the 'negative' narrator and cultivate the 'supportive'. You basically treat yourself as your own best friend. It's a tool I use in counselling and I find it incredibly powerful with my clients. Imagine being kind, compassionate, patient, tolerant, understanding, loving, forgiving & nurturing to YOURSELF! We freely extend these ways of being to people we love, yet why aren't we loving ourselves? Forgive me, I know it sounds self indulgent and somehow very un-British but I can assure you it can turn your life around.
You, reading this right now, you are of value. You are important and you are worthy of being loved. Treat yourself like you are. Go and sit outside for ten minutes with the winter sun on your face. Grab yourself a bunch of beautiful flowers to take home. Buy yourself the best mattress you can afford so you have something blissful to sleep on (sorry, had to get that in). Book that yoga retreat/boys weekend you keep promising yourself. Take yourself back to bed (hopefully a HUGGE, but other brands are also available Ü) with your coffee and papers on a Sunday morning. Don't beat yourself up if you didn't get that promotion, make it to the gym, eat your five a day. Nurture yourself. Be the best version of yourself by truly accepting yourself as you are, knowing you are doing the best you can and be safe in the knowledge 'we are all just winging it anyway'!
Here at HUGGE we know our value, we act with integrity and I'd like to think we don't have an inflated sense of self. We don't pretend to be all singing all dancing. There are no bells and whistles. We are just quietly confident that we are selling amazingly comfortable mattresses and pillows at a price you don't need to take lying down (unless it's with the coffee and papers on a Sunday morning when you are practicing self compassion Ü) Not everyone will see your worth, don't let that person be you......Ü