Is "self-compassion" a challenging concept for you? Maybe you're too hard on yourself. Maybe you need to be kind to yourself for a change.
Berating yourself for
- something you did,
- something you failed to do,
- something you thought, or
- something you feel you shouldn't be,
is not constructive. Research suggests that self-compassion is a gentle and effective way to deal with something you're ashamed of.
Self-compassion is being kind to yourself.
It is not self-pity; it does not lead to narcissism; and it does not blind you to your faults.
It does motivate you to improve yourself, and it does make you happier.
Dr Kristin Neff, a leading researcher in the field of self-compassion, writes, "It is a kind, connected, and clear-sighted way of relating to ourselves even in instances of failure, practiced inadequacy, and imperfection."
If you feel you could do with some self-compassion (and we all do!), try this nine-card spread I created. It will help you move forward from a painful mindset:
- What am I ashamed of?
- Why am I ashamed of it?
- What am I directly responsible for?
- If I look at it from a distance (perhaps five years from now or from the moon), what do I see?
- What would a compassionate friend say to me?
- What do I need to understand about myself?
- What needs to happen or change for healing to begin?
- Instead of criticizing myself, I could ...
- At this moment, I am OK.
I have listed two books below if you should wish to know more about self-compassion (no affiliate links). If you want research articles on the subject, please get in touch with me, I can send you a list.
As always, if you need a brief refresher on reading tarot cards, look at my free article, "How to read tarot cards: A quick guide."
You might also consider my tarot-reading course, "Reading the cards for your self."
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Germer, C.K. (2009). The mindful path to self-compassion: Freeing yourself from destructive thoughts and emotions. New York: Guilford Press.
Neff, K.D. (2011). Self-compassion: The proven power of being kind to yourself. New York, William Morrow.