From the time we were children, our parents taught us how to behave in our family and in society. That’s a good thing when it leads to high-esteem that is coupled with skills to get along well with others.
However, most of my S.M.A.R.T. clients don’t enter adulthood bubbling over with self-worth.
We’re hard workers, but during conflict we may not know how to take care of our selves and meet others’ needs.
We’ve been taught that we should …
1) excel and be conscientious,
2) care about what the neighbors think,
3) stop being selfish and self-centered.
That’s good parenting, don’t you agree?
I agree to some extent, but not when it means losing our sense of identity.
When we think about others much more than we care about ourselves, it leads to unhealthy decisions. We work too much. We over-commit to our favorite causes. We feel guilty if we say ‘no’ when others ask us to help.
In the beginning we may have plenty of energy, but sooner or later we feel exhausted, like we’ve just run a marathon. Our body aches.
We can get by with being run-down once in a while, but this pattern has become a way of life for many of us.
We feel driven. We don’t get enough sleep. We don’t get proper exercise. We don’t schedule breaks to meditate. We don’t take time to prepare healthy foods. We don’t drink plenty of pure water.
This is where self-compassion enters the picture.
If we don’t take good care of ourselves, who will? If we’re not healthy and balanced, it’s difficult to give others quality attention. We can’t think well. We forget things. We get scattered. We get grouchy and critical. We withdraw. We become emotionally reactive.
If we don’t care for our health over a long period of time, we invite severe illnesses like cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
Our self-care … or lack thereof … impacts our families and our work in major ways.
Have I provided enough evidence that it’s a wise idea to develop self-compassion?
I hope so. However, setting a goal that is motivated by getting away from negative consequences won’t be enough to sustain long-term change. We’ll yo-yo back and forth like people who lose weight and gain it all back.
Self-compassion as a lifestyle begins with a commitment to proactively move toward what is most important to you.
I encourage you to adopt new values and beliefs. You can re-parent yourself right now. Put an “X” by the following statements that appeal to you.
1. Self-compassion is just as important as compassion for others.
2. I am as important as everyone else. No more and no less.
3. Setting myself on fire is not required to prove my love for others.
4. I am worthy of love and attention, just like everyone else.
5. God loves me, even in my brokenness.
6. My body is the temple of my spirit. It is important to take care of it.
7. The only real moment is “now.” I want to be as present as possible for my loved ones and myself. To do this, I need to be well-rested.
8. Good quality sleep and meditation are essential to physical, emotional, spiritual and mental health.
9. I choose to develop an Inner Guardian to ensure that I take good care of myself.
10. I choose to share my values about self-care and self-compassion. It is good for us all. I’ll say to my friends and co-workers, “I need balance in my life, and I support you to develop balance in your life. Let’s help each other develop healthy routines and be accountability buddies.”
11. I choose to co-create win-win solutions, rather than swinging between winning and losing.”
This is a great start. If you’re saying to yourself, “Easier said than done,” you’re right. Many of us have good ideas we don’t implement. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Counseling helps transform the unconscious blocks that perpetuate self-defeating patterns. Life Coaching helps you effectively implement your good ideas so you flourish.
Here are a three ways to receive more education and support:
1) Join me for a “Self-Compassion” workshop on Saturday, March 17, 2018 at Good Shepherd Church, Hayesville North Carolina. There are three presenters and the program runs 9:30am-3:30pm. My part of the program is 2-3:00pm. Lunch is included. Contact Good Shepherd Church for details.
Phone: 828-389-3397. 495 Herbert Hills Road, Hayesville, NC 28904
2) Schedule an appointment with me for professional counseling or life coaching: in-person at my office, on the phone or video-conference from your home.
3) Attend the Highly Sensitive Person Retreat: May 19-20, 2018.
Contact me for a complimentary 10-minute call to see if my services are a good fit for you. Click here to complete the Contact Page.
Benita Esposito, MA is a licensed professional counseling, life coach and spiritual counselor.
Copyright 2018. All Rights Reserved. The Esposito Institute, Inc.