This month I will be working on self-compassion.
The easiest way to explain it is: I will talk to myself the same way I talk to the people I love.
When I first tried to work on this last year, it was really hard. I tried to think of nice things to say to myself, and everything I would try to say would turn into advice or direction-giving. It was really hard! I've had a little bit of practice since then, but am excited to become more consistent and genuine with it this month.
At first I was hesitant to work on this, because it sounded so selfish, and I have issues about selfishness. As I've read the research and thought about it more, I've realized self-compassion is not a selfish thing. It just means we don't treat ourselves like an enemy. It doesn't mean we put ourselves and our needs far above everybody else's and tune out of their lives. It just means that we don't attack ourselves, especially in moments of weakness.
If we consider ourselves to be our own friend, we should talk to ourselves as a friend. If we consider ourselves an enemy, well didn't Jesus Christ say to love our enemies?
Self-compassion does not mean we take more and more time to ourselves. It just means that the time that we do spend with ourselves doesn't involve verbal abuse from within.
As awkward as it might be, this week when I am tempted to insult myself, I will either say "I've got your back, Ali", give myself a hug (seems silly, but has helped in the past!), or find something else encouraging to say. And I will start my commute every day with the song "I Know Heavenly Father Loves Me." =)