“Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, it's at the end of your arm, as you get older, remember you have another hand: The first is to help yourself, the second is to help others.”
― Sam Levenson
True healing begins with developing a healthy relationship with oneself. It means letting go of all the self -directed negativity and learning to love ourselves.
Love Thyself: If we do not have the capacity for self-love and acceptance, then we have no internal reference point within from which to give to others.
Self love may seem like a lot of work, but what is essentially being asked is to stop the inner voice of self-criticism and comparisons, put downs and self-abuse. In other words, intend to let go of the negative self-talk and be gentle with yourself. Love and accept yourself as you are, in this moment.
Of course, the first step is awareness. One of my favourite quotes is "in awareness there is true healing"
Once aware of the inner critic, train your mind to not focus on it, but on something else, such as your breath.
This, fundamentally is the practice of mindfulness. To be aware of what is happening - within yourself and just calmly observe. When we observe, there is no judgement or reaction. Just observation. You may say to yourself "my mind is thinking this negative thought now...but I will choose to focus on my breath instead"
Each time you do this, you will become stronger in awareness and gradually, the volume of the negative self talk and criticism will be lowered. It takes practice, and practice takes time. The benefits of this simple practice you can do anywhere
Research suggests that self-compassion provides an island of calm, a refuge from the stormy seas of endless positive and negative self-judgment, so that we can finally stop asking, “Am I as good as they are? Am I good enough?”
By tapping into our inner wellsprings of kindness, acknowledging the shared nature of our imperfect human condition, we can start to feel more secure, accepted, and alive.
It does take work to break the self-criticizing habits of a lifetime, but at the end of the day, you are only being asked to relax, allow life to be as it is, and open your heart to yourself. It’s easier than you might think, and it could change your life.
for the full article go to: http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/try_selfcompassion