Tag Archives: Kristin Neff

Gratitude: Day 14 of 48

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I see you.
I hear you.
You’re going to be ok.

I’m proud of you.
I love you.


For the longest time I was waiting for someone
to speak words of kindness to me,
someone besides the therapists I was paying,
or the people in my twelve step meetings,
or the coach I had hired,
or the guided meditations I was listening to…
Sometimes I’d speak with a friend on the phone,
sometimes a family member,
but there were many, many times
when I wished for words of kindness
but I found myself utterly alone.
It finally dawned on me one day
that I am the one I’ve been waiting for,
and I could speak kindness to myself.
I also discovered
that self-love isn’t experienced
at the level of the intellect;
it must be felt.
So I began imagining what it would feel like
if I could really love, respect, and support myself.
I began speaking words of kindness to myself,
just to try it out, to hear myself being kind to myself.
Slowly, s l o w l y over time
I began to feel a change within me.
Slowly I began giving myself
the same kindness, care and concern
I would offer to a good friend.
Slowly I felt compassion for myself.
Slowly self-love become real.

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If you suffer from feelings of inadequacy, anxiety for the future, or the pain of unmet needs, I highly recommend checking out the work of self-compassion researcher Kristin Neff. Her site includes information about self-compassion and exercises to get you started with a self-compassion practice. There is also a self-compassion test so you can see where you fall on the self-compassion scale!

Self-Compassion Break

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I took a self-compassion break today
and was surprised to note
that I had been trying to talk myself out
of feeling sad about something
that happened last year.
The voices inside of my head were telling me
There is nothing you can do,
so get over it.
You think you have problems?
What about the people in war torn countries?
And so I would end up feeling guilty
for letting myself feel sad over this thing
that was bothering me,
and so I never let myself feel sad.
Angry, yes.
Frustrated, yes.
Complaining, yes.
But never sad,
the sad I needed to feel to grieve and let go.
And then self-compassion stepped in
and held space for me to feel the familiar feeling
of suffering as I remembered what had happened.
There was a sweetness that bloomed
as I didn’t fight myself
but let myself feel what I was feeling.
I looked at the sadness, acknowledged it,
and I relaxed. I felt more spacious.
I held myself with kindness and care.
Thank you Kristin Neff for all the work you have done
to alleviate the suffering of all beings.