Yesterday I had a wonderful session with my therapist.
Even though I have seen therapists for many years, I am still learning.
I asked her, "Shouldn't I have this all figured out by my age?" HA! Apparently not!
Without boring you with all the details, the bottom line was self-compassion, with being gentle with myself.
(Lisa, a blogger, has a good definition of self-compassion. See her blog here.)
What is self-compassion to me?
It's about taking care of myself when I need to, as I would take care of someone I loved.
It's about talking kindly to myself.
It's about understanding where I came from, and acknowledging that.
It's about treating myself as nicely as I would treat other people.
There is some research out about self-compassion.
This is from The New York Times:
Do you treat yourself as well as you treat your friends and family?
That simple question is the basis for a burgeoning new area of psychological research called self-compassion — how kindly people view themselves. People who find it easy to be supportive and understanding to others, it turns out, often score surprisingly low on self-compassion tests, berating themselves for perceived failures like being overweight or not exercising.
The research suggests that giving ourselves a break and accepting our imperfections may be the first step toward better health. People who score high on tests of self-compassion have less depression and anxiety, and tend to be happier and more optimistic. Preliminary data suggest that self-compassion can even influence how much we eat and may help some people lose weight. (Read the article here.)Today I practiced gentle self-talk.
I woke up feeling out of sorts, a little tired, blue.
I had planned on going to a meeting, going to yoga, and then the eye doctor.
I started to get mad at myself, knowing I did not feel good enough mentally to get to yoga or a meeting.
Then I stopped.
I said, "I feel a little bit down. I can take care of myself right now."
Instead of trying to force myself anywhere, I read a book for awhile.
Gentle, gentle, gentle.
When I got up, showered, went to eye doctor, I felt good.
I am an up and down person.
I can be madly flying one day, and quite low the next.
But if I can be very gentle, and love myself with a deep respect, I do believe I will be happier on my down days.
Today was living proof.