Self-Compassion is a helpful tool for managing shame and blame and negative self-talk. It is particularly, in my experience, helpful for those struggling with OCD, Panic Disorder, Phobias, Health Anxiety, Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors, Eating Disorders and Depression.
The Center for Mindful Self Compassion (centerformsc.org) describes self-compassion in the following way-
“Self-compassion involves responding in the same supportive and understanding way you would with a good friend when you have a difficult time, fail, or notice something you don’t like about yourself.”
Self-compassion is Kindness, Warmth, Gentleness and Care.
When I talk about the practice of self-compassion, I use the metaphor that self-compassion washes away shame and blame like the rain washes away the dirt on our cars. As the rain gently falls, the dirt slowly falls away. Once the rain has come and gone, there is less heaviness and dirt on the car. It is easier to see out the windows and now you can see the beautiful fields and trees that you pass on your way to work or school.
A part of this metaphor includes this final sentiment. Even though the rain has come and gone and the car is mostly cleansed of its dirt, there is still slight streaks of the dirt left behind.
As much as I would love to say that self compassion will wash away all of the dirt and dust on the car, this is not realistic. The tiny little streaks left behind is a reminder that compassion is a job that is never over. It must be practiced over and over, for the years to come.
This podcast offers a meditation that uses the basics of Kristin Neff’s self compassion research, including the three elements of self compassion. For more info go to selfcompassion.org