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Mindful : August 2017
PARTING THOUGHT When you experience suffering, there are three door- ways to self-compassion, says Kristin Neff. 1 You can give yourself kindness and understanding. 2 You can remind yourself that suffering is part of the shared human experience. 3 You can be mindful of your thoughts and emotions so that you find greater peace and balance. Sometimes it’s easier to take one action over another depending on your mood and the situation. Whichever you choose, you’ll be in a state of loving, connected presence. That itself is wor thy of your confidence. When someone you love feels bad about themselves, you comfort them. Yet this is often the last thing we do for ourselves. Instead, we act as judge and jury— and more often than not, assign some form of self- flagellation as “punish- ment” for our failings. What effect do you think that has on your confidence? When we’re hurting, we don’t need harsh judgment heaped onto our already bruised self-view. Nor do we need some kind of aggrandized ego boost. We need understanding that Try Self-Compassion Instead as humans, we all make mistakes, feel inadequate at times, and struggle. “ People are compassion- ate to themselves because they’re human beings who suffer, not because they’re special and above average,” explains Neff. “ Unlike self-esteem,” she continues, “self-compassion emphasizes interconnec- tion rather than separate- ness. It also offers more emotional stability, because it is always there for you— when you’re on top of the world and when you fall flat on your face.” ● August 2017 mindful 35