Mindful Self Compassion
A while ago, one brave listener reached out with a heartfelt email, sharing a bit about her life, and asking how to handle some really difficult things, like:
“How do I forgive myself when I've hurt someone?”
“How do I break my old patterns so that I don't do harmful things again?”
“How do I stay emotionally available when I fear being hurt?”
These are important questions that many people wrestle with, and I decided to tackle them on the show. We'll be discussing:
How to Forgive Yourself When You've Hurt Someone
While so many resources are there to help you if you've been hurt by someone else, or need to forgive someone who has betrayed you, or how to rebuild trust in a relationship, few resources exist to help those suffering with feelings of guilt, regret and remorse. This is unfortunate, because who among us hasn't done something they regret? The worst is when you've hurt someone you've loved, and maybe lost a relationship as a result of it.
We'll discuss how to apply self-awareness and mindful self-compassion to this situation in order to find forgiveness for yourself, by putting your actions in context of both your life experience and your inner experience. We'll talk about how to practice self-compassion, and also some self-compassion exercises to help you develop this skill.
Resources: Here's the link to the attachment styles article I mentoned. One of the other resources I discuss here is our “What's Holding You Back” quiz to help you gain self-awareness (here's the link if you want to check it out).
How Do I Break My Old Patterns?
The crux of any personal growth process is using your self-awareness and your feelings to get clearer about your values, help you guide your future behavior and future choices. But all we have is the present moment. We'll talk about how to combine compassion for yourself, empathy for others, and mindfulness skills to manage yourself in the moment so that you create better outcomes in the future.
How Do I Stay Emotionally Available in Relationships?
When you're feeling fragile and emotionally reactive, it's hard to have healthy relationships. Instead, we usually fall into either losing ourselves and being dependent on another for our feelings of self-worth. (Which too often leads to emotional enmeshment and codependency). Or, we swing into self-protection, lashing out, shutting down, or breaking off relationships. The key to finding a middle path — connection, and confidence — is through loving yourself and strengthening yourself.
Resource: Here's the link to the Self-Love article I mentioned. Also, an article about cultivating healthy vulnerability in relationships.
At the heart of all the ideas, skills and strategies here for forgiving yourself, and using your mistakes as a launch pad for growth is the concept of mindful self-compassion. I hope you keep that idea with you, on your journey of growth and healing.
Your fellow traveler,
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Mindful Self Compassion: How to Forgive Yourself
Music Credits: Florence and The Machine, “Grace”