As a compassionate person, why do I struggle with self compassion?



I attended my first exercise class for the year – reformer pilates. It had been months since I practiced what I preached. Work and everyday responsibilities had stolen my time to enact my self-care. Or had it really? I failed to prioritise myself – even when it came to the care of others. I was a fraud. Why did I eat that extra serve of Christmas pudding? I drank too much. I ate too much. I neglected my own health and yet this is my work! As a four time breast-cancer survivor one would think my health is on the top of my priorities. The list goes on… And here we are – I write on the issue of self-compassion and yet I failed to do so myself. Does any of this sound familiar?


As I struggled through my class of reformer pilates, I compared myself to everyone else who seemed to be moving with strength and confidence and I was stumbling through the moves. Again – where is my self-compassion?


Here’s the thing – it starts with self-awareness. I kept thinking – interrupting the self-deprecating thoughts as I pushed through the pain: at least I’m asking the questions. Within my 45 minute exercise class I was turning my thoughts and feelings around… through self-awareness I challenged my original thoughts – “I’m here. I’m giving it my best. I’m aware. I’m challenging my lack of self-compassion. I’m human.”


Self-compassion is about self-kindness versus self-judgment. Ask yourself? Are you pushing through the pain? Are you self-aware? Self-compassion enables us to be human and to embrace all the parts of ourselves. Today I accept my own frailties as well as the frailties of others with a plan to practice self-awareness and self-kindness versus self-judgment in the routines of my every day. Consider the micro-moments of your day. Where can you be kinder to yourself and allow yourself to embrace being an imperfect human and celebrate that imperfection?


By Angela Powell


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