We need to show ourselves the same compassion we offer others. Too frequently, we beat ourselves up over matters, big or small, in ways that we would never dream of treating someone else in our same or similar situation. How many times do you tell yourself, “I should know better,” or “I am so stupid,” or “I shouldn’t feel this way, other people have it worse than I do.” Well, maybe they do but that doesn’t matter. When we’re down, we’re down for a reason.  Whether it has to do with a specific event or issue in life or because we have depression or some other mental health disorder, we do ourselves a disservice by the use of judgment. Self-compassion begins with throwing judgment out the door. Allow yourself to feel what you feel. Allow others to feel with you. Give yourself a break. Listen to the advice you would give someone else in your situation. Suffering occurs when we struggle against the extremes of pleasure and pain. As long as we chase after feeling good all of the time or do everything possible to avoid pain, we suffer. When we accept that sometimes we’re going to feel good and sometimes we’re not, we are able to find peace within. The amazing thing about this practice is that we are able to gain a realistic perspective about our situation and things begin to feel manageable once again. Self-compassion is a practice of mindfulness.  Be present with your experience, without judgment. Be kind to yourself. You deserve it.

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