Self Compassion: Be Your Own Best Friend

Compassion Painting

There is always that one moment when we have messed up. Or something messes us up. The balance is off and there is restlessness, a down moment. Sometimes its clear and it’s a wee bit better place to be. But at times, everything is fuzzy. It’s like being in a sand storm. You can tell it’s not good and you are in trouble and have to run for cover, but have no idea why you are there and then to make matters worse, you have no clue where to head coz you can’t see a darn thing. So you flail, get frustrated and then beat yourself up in not knowing where to go?

Same thing when we get lost while driving in a new territory right?


The knee jerk reaction to anything that doesn’t go right is to blame oneself. It’s worse in females than in males. It’s most likely a conditioned behavior of being blamed and hence our defensive reactions.

Ive been there and am still clawing my way out and by lord, does it take time and some conscious channeling of thoughts to stay grounded and look at things objectively, and then respond. Not react. That’s another life goal, to be able to respond in an objective fashion than to react to a stimulus.

Why is this even important?

It’s not necessarily for the situation to not go out of control or the other party to go ballistic on you, but it’s really a way to guide yourself to a better place, to treat yourself right and most importantly be your own best friend. It’s called self compassion.

1. Be your own best friend.


Phoebe and Friends

Take a step outside of you, detach yourself form the situation and look at yourself as you would a friend. If the friend is the one who acted or was in this space, how would you react? How would you behave and what would you do?

Then do it. You would not berate the friend would you? Instead you would console, cajole and reason. You would be kind. You may chide and reprimand, but you would never be harsh and you would never make them feel worse about being where they are. Do the same for yourself. Be your own best friend. We are all human. No one is perfect. Accepting ourselves all flaws included is what makes us who we are.

2. Hug yourself, no really, go on, hug!

During my meditation class, our guru has during warm ups, asked us to hug ourselves. It was the act of crossing your arms across your chest and placing it on our shoulders and beyond and squeezing ourselves into a squishy hug. Instinctively, we rock ourselves to feel the hug, to feel like the baby we once were when we were hugged and rocked, by the adults that held us. It makes us feel secure. It’s that simple act of touch, of the wrapping and the rocking and the closing of our eyes that tell our hearts that we deserve every bit of love and kindness in that hour of need and desperation.

So hug! (or find someone to give you a hug. A touch helps a ton)


3. Be vocal and repeat an empowering mantra or phrase.

Okay, maybe not completely Phoebe style, but you get it.

Sometimes we need to hear ourselves from the outside.  We speak to ourselves all the time. ..and maybe that’s where the problem is coz we are telling and feeding ourselves such harsh criticism and well, lies to berate and be awful to oursleves coz we feel like we have failed ourselves.

So, speak up. Find a mantra, a phrase, or any empowering passage, and read it out aloud. I have a running list of quotes that I collect on Pinterest (when my mind is not in its monkey state) and I go back to them and read them, aloud. The voice coming from outside and entering your ears forces you to listen to yourself. Our voices get sterner, assertive and along with it, our mind is slowly steered back into a state of stability. Of kindness and of compassion. So find your mantra and find your empowerment and remember to read it, aloud when you are down.

4. Step out and do something nice for someone else.

I cannot stress this enough, and how much it helps me. When am down and out and feeling like the world is collapsing around me and the like, I remove myself physically from the space where I started to feel that way. I change rooms, I go for a drive, I step out to the lawn and such. AND then, my senses are alert for any kind of action that would benefit someone else.  It could be the simplest of things from complimenting someone (genuinely) on their outfit, making a small meal for a neighbor or friend (even if they don’t need it), to calling or emailing a friend to check on them, to making a donation towards a charity, to rounding up some gently worn clothes and dropping them off at a shelter. The list goes on.

I guarantee you that if you consciously stop the moment you start to feel sorry for yourself or giving yourself a hard time, and practice any or all of them above, it will help you. It’s helped me and I can get quite pig-headed and stuck on some mirages myself, and if I am able to pull myself through, anyone can. Not saying it’s a cure-all, but it helps lessen the depths at which we sink and even the tenacity with which we bounce back up.

Being kind to ourselves, and especially when the world is really too busy to notice or care, is one of the best gifts of being a friend you can give yourself. The spa and a massage comes next 😉


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