Self-compassion: Word for 2022
“I am not looking to escape my darkness. I am learning to love myself there.” Rune Lazuli
I felt like 2021 was a year of loss, particularly the loss of several relationships. But, if I reframe it, 2021 was really a year of choosing myself over others, which I had not done for a long time. It was a year of learning to take care of my needs and of being kind and caring towards myself. To further build on this, I chose self-compassion as my word for 2022 and created an art journal page around this.
Like so many others, self-compassion doesn’t come naturally to me; and I feel like a mother with no arms who longs to embrace her distressed child. Take a minute to really think about what that would be like. Feel the pain, hold it, and stay vulnerable. Can you sit with the emotional distress without hardening? This is the essence of self-compassion. It involves touching the soft spot within ourselves and gently moving towards what scares us. To touch that soft spot is to know our wound, to feel the pain, go into the darkness, and sit with the discomfort. It is about looking upon and accepting all the flawed and unwanted parts of ourselves. To touch the soft spot, we must stop blaming and shaming ourselves. And we often need to let go of the story we have been telling ourselves about who we are.
The journal page I created feels soft and calm with a touch of beauty. It is full of images of childhood – a child’s picture and two young girls – possibly because this is the source of many of my feelings of unworthiness. With this page, I am reclaiming the innocence of childhood. This page is about nurturing those small vulnerable parts within myself. In Fierce Self-Compassion, Kristin Neff writes that when we care and nurture ourselves, we are relating to ourselves with tender self-compassion. This is about radial self-acceptance, where we learn to stop judging and criticising ourselves, where we give up striving to be someone we’re not and where we let go of perfection. We accept ourselves unconditionally.
“We are compassionate toward ourselves simply because we’re flawed human beings intrinsically worthy of care.” Kristin Neff
What is your relationship with self-compassion? What images represent self-compassion for you? Honour your personal story towards self-acceptance by creating your own self-compassion Flourish Journal page.Back