Compassion for Yourself

shutterstock_68852533For those of us who insist on beating ourselves up. We obsess over and over on what we did or did not do. We just love it. We relish in the guilt.

So next time you are unable to accept something that you did or did not do, ask yourself: Why did I do it? What was going on at the time that prompted me to do it? Or prevented me from stopping it?

And no 'I don't knows' allowed here. If you are going to spend the next portion of your precious life condemning yourself for it, you surely can find the time and insight to understand why you did it.

It's just that I have seen so much pain and suffering caused by people beating themselves up. It is so destructive. I probably spend more time guiding people to understand and find compassion for what they did than anything else I do in psychotherapy. It is tremendously healing.

Usually I have to feed it back to them by describing what they did in the third person. Something like, "So if someone was really worried about their friend and then, after a few glasses of wine, finally told their friend that they are concerned that they are making a huge mistake, what would you say about that person?

And another favorite number we do on ourselves: we judge ourselves about something we did in the past from the perspective of the experience, knowledge, and awareness that we have now. This is especially brutal. So then you adapt the question to, "Knowing what I did at the time, why did I do it?

So save yourself going to therapy. Rather, next time you are mercilessly beating yourself up, investigate what led you to doing what you did.

And find some compassion for yourself as a human being.

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