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The Gift They Really Want This Valentine's Day

“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” Buddha

"Individuals who are more self-compassionate tend to have greater happiness, life satisfaction and motivation, better relationships and physical health, and less anxiety and depression. They also have the resilience needed to cope with stressful life events such as divorce, health crises, and academic failure, and even combat trauma."

My own quest to self-compassion begins when I have a (unfortunately all too frequent) self-deprecating thought like “you’re not worthy" or "you really messed up..." followed by what feels like a gut punch.

To offer my self-compassion I get into an “observer role” and talk to myself saying things like “yeah it sucks that you feel this way but I’m with you.” Or, "I know you don't want to be feeling this way right now."

Sometimes I hear a voice that says, "you don't deserve self compassion because you messed up so badly."

So then I try to offer that voice self compassion.

I try to be compassionate to the part that doesn't think it deserves compassion.

I start with where I am.

With whatever voice is the loudest.

The result?

A slight softening in my gut, a deep breath and I feel a little better.

I know the Valentines in my life appreciate this effort because when I am a little nicer to myself, I'm a lot nicer to them!

Try one of these writing prompts to get into the "observer role" to more easily find self compassion whenever you are feeling inadequate or want to make a change.

  1. Think of an imaginary friend who is unconditionally wise, loving, and compassionate and write a letter to yourself from the perspective of your friend.

  2. Write a letter as if you were talking to a dearly beloved friend who was struggling with the same concerns as you.

  3. Write a letter from the compassionate part of yourself to the part of yourself that is struggling.

Although self-compassion is so important for us, especially if we suffer from chronic pain, it can be really hard to practice.

I challenge you to give to yourself even a fraction of what you give to your loved ones this Valentine's Day season. You're sooooo worth it!

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