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Learn Mindful Self-Compassion at Rosehill
By Paul and Kimberlee Kramer | Sep 26, 2018

As we know, things do not always go the way we want them to. We encounter frustrations, losses occur, we make mistakes, bump up against our limitations, fall short of our ideals. This is the human condition, a reality shared by all of us.  Many of us have been conditioned from childhood to develop a rather judgmental internal voice which tends be critical when we don’t meet our expectations.

Instead of mercilessly judging and criticizing yourself for various inadequacies or shortcomings, self-compassion means you are kind and understanding when confronted with personal failings - after all, who ever said you were supposed to be perfect?

You may try to change in ways that allow you to be more healthy and happy.  This is done because you care about yourself. Having compassion for yourself means that you honor and accept your humanness. Self-compassionate people recognize that being imperfect, and experiencing life difficulties is inevitable, so they tend to be gentle with themselves when confronted with painful experiences rather than getting angry when life falls short of set ideals.

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.

To have compassion for others you must notice that they are suffering.  Then, compassion involves feeling moved by others’ suffering so that your heart responds to their pain (the word compassion literally means to “suffer with”).

When this occurs, you feel warmth, caring, and the desire to help the suffering person in some way. Having compassion also means that you offer understanding and kindness to others when they fail or make mistakes, rather than judging them harshly. Finally, when you feel compassion for another (rather than mere pity), it means that you realize that suffering, failure, and imperfection is part of the shared human experience. “Just like me…”

There are three elements of self-compassion: self-kindness, common humanity and mindfulness.

Mindfulness is a non-judgmental, receptive mind state in which one observes thoughts and feelings as they are, without trying to suppress or deny them. This requires taking an honest, balanced approach to our negative emotions so that feelings are neither suppressed nor exaggerated.

It also stems from the willingness to observe our negative thoughts and emotions with openness and clarity, so that they are held in mindful awareness. At the same time, mindfulness requires that we not be “over-identified” with thoughts and feelings, so that we are not caught up and swept away by negative reactivity.

Research indicates that in comparison to self-esteem, self-compassion is associated with greater emotional resilience, more accurate self-concepts, more caring relationship behavior, as well as less narcissism and reactive anger.

An eight-week class on Mindful Self-Compassion is being offered at Rosehill Community Center starting Tuesday, Oct. 2, 6 to 8:45 p.m. running through Nov. 20, including a half-day retreat on Sunday, Nov. 4.

The course is led by the husband and wife team of Paul and Kimberlee Kramer.

For more information or to register for the class, email paulkramer121@gmail.com or kimberlee723@gmail.com, or call Paul 425-231-5833, or Kim 425-232-2366.

Most of this article is edited from material presented by the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion.

 

 

 

 

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