We were trained to be hard on ourselves, to reach for the stars and kick our own ass’s if we didn’t touch them. We normalized trash talk in sports, and looked our girlfriends up and down to make sure they were cool enough to be seen with us. We watched our weight, we watched our friend’s weight, and we persecuted ourselves if the scale tipped in the wrong direction. In school we either got great grades or flunked every class and we made certain that everyone knew how fantastic we were or that we were anarchist losers ready to take down the system, and when we slipped in our roles…well that’s when we were the hardest on ourselves.
Each year one in five students has thoughts of killing themselves, making suicide the number two cause of death among students age 15-24. Our children are suffering from test anxiety, eating disorders, self-harm, depression, and so much more. It’s time that we taught ourselves and our children to be kind to the person we’ve become. It’s time we chose kindness over toughness because none of us are tough enough to face the pressures of today without a lot of support and self-love.
Self-Compassion is not a new concept but it is being presented in a new way by Dr. Kristin Neff in her book, The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook. This is the single most effective self-help book I have ever read. All my negative self-talk is gone. I have to repeat that. All of my negative self-talk IS GONE! After years of not feeling thin enough, pretty enough, smart enough, good enough, worthy enough, outgoing enough, I now know that I am enough exactly as I am.
In the opening chapter Dr. Neff says, “Self-Compassion involves treating yourself the way you would treat a friend who is having a hard time.” It’s that simple. From there the book leads you through meaningful practices in mindfulness, releasing resistance, developing loving-kindness, and so much more. And if you’re worried that this may be one of those impossibly difficult to read books, it’s not. It reads like a child’s how to, on the proper care of a kitten. I think I loved that best about this book. It took the thing that tortures and kills us every day, our lack of self-worth, and it solved it with a practice so easy to follow that a child can understand it. Everything about Dr. Neff’s The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook, is loving, simple, and above all, compassionate.
We really don’t have a choice anymore. Our mental health impacts our physical health, our spiritual health and the overall health of our families and our community. As I travel through my own healing journey, I will share with you what has worked and what has not. For me, Dr. Neff’s The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook is a must read/must practice book to keep with you all your life. Share it with your family, share it with your friends, share it with the world. We only have one life in this body. Let’s live it with more love and Self-Compassion.
You are Strong. You are Worthy. You were made for these times.
I love you. Keep going. You got this.