One of the most powerful gifts you can give yourself and your mental health is self-compassion. Often, when it comes to creating change in your life, you might think you should start with self-judgment to reveal what needs to change.
The opposite is true. When you can see yourself through the lens of self-compassion, you can also give yourself permission to change and grow.
Self-Judgment Keeps Us Stuck
True, authentic, and sustainable change cannot happen when it is rooted in shame, blame, and self-judgment. The cycles of shame and judgment are the very things that can keep you stuck in familiar but unhealthy habits, even when those ways of being in the world no longer serve you. Observing yourself through the lens of self-compassion creates space to become unstuck and move forward with lasting, authentic change.
Compassion to Self-Soothe
Beginning to cultivate a more compassionate relationship with yourself may feel foreign at first, but it is an important step in learning how to soothe your mind and body when you are struggling. Just because at first the voice of self-compassion feels uncomfortable as you begin to speak to yourself with kindness and patience does not mean it always will.
Self-compassion is a muscle and it takes time to build the strength of this voice and listen to it over the voice of your inner critic.
What Does Self-Compassion Sound Like?
Self-compassion can sound different depending on what you need at the moment. For example, perhaps you are in the midst of intense emotions that feel as if they will never go away. You could remind yourself, “This is a moment of struggling, and everyone struggles sometimes. It will pass.”
Self-compassion may also sound like:
- “I am safe, I am whole, I am here”
- “It’s okay that I made a mistake—my mistakes don’t define me”
- “Even when I don’t feel I’m sufficient, I know I am enough and I am doing enough”
- “Just because I feel uncomfortable now doesn’t mean I always will”
With time and practice, this voice will begin to become louder than the voice of self-criticism. Self-judgment may never be completely absent since you are human, and that voice exists to protect you. Through learning the art of self-compassion, you can create the change you desire, soothe yourself instead of relying on someone else to, and speak more gently to yourself.
Self-compassion is an important tool to anchor into as you are healing from addiction and mental illness. Without learning self-compassion and acceptance, creating authentic and sustainable change can be difficult. At Avalon Malibu, we recognize how difficult it can be to begin relating to yourself in a healthy, compassionate, and self-satisfactory way when you’ve been impacted by addiction or mental illness. We are here to help you create a healthier relationship with yourself as well as others. Call Avalon Malibu today at (844) 857-5992.