Self-criticism can be eased by practicing self-compassion

“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” ― C.G. Jung

Love is an endless lesson. We’ve been given the gift of love but it’s on us to learn it. It may seem like love is happening to us, and it does. It’s a kind of magic. But no great magician became great only by talent. He studied a lot. He worked a lot to transform that given gift into a giving one.

A magician can’t play magic on himself. He needs a partner to believe his magic. But before he tries to spell his magic onto someone else, he must believe it himself. It’s the same with love. Love happens. But making someone believe and trust our love we must learn to make love trustworthy. And just like the magician, we must first trust it ourselves. Only when we learn to trust to love ourselves, we can let others do it.

When we don’t trust ourselves to be worthy of love, we get depressed.

Studies say that therapies that focus on teaching self-compassion are more successful in treating depression and anxiety than those which don’t. Those therapies teach you to love yourself.

If you can accept the importance of compassion then you can accept the importance of self-compassion. Practicing self-compassion means to treat yourself the way you would a dear friend.

Self-compassion helps you look at yourself as you truly are. It helps build the strength to love that truth. You can’t defeat what you are, you can’t defeat your nature. Just as you can’t defeat the nature of those close to you. You can’t change who you are but you can change the way you treat who you are.

How to practice self-compassion?

Self-compassion isn’t just an abstract concept. It is a learnable practice. Something you build until it becomes strong enough to become your nature. But first, you have to work on it. Start by becoming friends with your inner voice.

Compare the way you talk to a friend when he is struggling or made a mistake and the way you talk to yourself when you are in that situation. Try to change the pattern and give yourself the friendly treatment. What changes?

We all have an internal judge. He holds the moral compass and he is blind towards feelings. We can’t make him go away and neither should we wish to. We need him. But we can model him into becoming a gentle judge, not just a fair one.

Lately, people have a more relaxed vision for therapy, as it is the best method to address mental issues and keep your mental health. If you intend to map yourself psychologically, BetterHelp is there to help you.

This can be the beginning of a beautiful friendship

If your internal judge is aggressive and offends you every time you indulge yourself with an extra cake, you can have a word with him. Just as you would do with someone else when they treat you wrong. Tell him that you need him but you also need him to be gentle.

Teach your internal judge to tell you you’re wrong in a loving way. Teach yourself to talk to you. Instead of offensive words, you can learn to say this to yourself: “I know you needed to eat that cake because you are feeling sad. But I care about your health and the way you look. Please, take care of them for the both of us.”

This is a practice you should find time to do daily. If you miss sessions, don’t use them to fuel the self-criticism. Just take it from where you’ve left it. It might help to keep a journal. The journal can become your memory and the witness of the beautiful friendship that begins.