The art of self-compassion

When I look back at my childhood it’s not difficult to see why I was angry. Through having no choices, I played no part in my own decisions, but still went on to live with the guilt for many years.

No one should be allowed to feel they are to blame for someone else decisions. Even if that person fails to apologise for the decisions they made for you that you’ve had to deal with over the years, I still believe we can rid ourselves of those guilty feelings. I know because I’ve done it.

The art of self-compassion isn’t easy. Where we can extend compassion to ourselves in times where we feel we’ve failed, we feel inadequate or we’re generally suffering as a consequence of our past, we will have self-compassion. Without it, it would be easy to continue to apportion blame on ourselves for our past experiences.

So how does self-compassion work?

Being kinder to us, being mindful and responsive to some of our thoughts on our experiences without beating ourselves up, every time those thoughts come into our mind. Unfortunately, when we’ve been manipulated by others, we will always blame ourselves. If we’re genuinely not to blame, the blame needs to be redirected on to the other person.

The onus should clearly be off us. Own what’s yours because that’s right and relinquish blame for everything else. If we are to blame, we need to understand. Whether mistakes lie with us or with someone else, it’s important we lose the baggage and this is where self-compassion comes in.


29 Jul, 2013

2 thoughts on “The art of self-compassion

  1. I made several mistakes when I was a teen, but I blamed my parents because of their over-protection of me. Then I felt guilty for blaming them because the things I did were my decisions and I was old enough to know better.

    There is one thing I did that I do feel guilty over even though I did it because of my fathers words. I know he felt guilty over it til the day he died.

    As an adult I tend to feel guilt over things that are really some other person’s fault. I usually just put it in the back of my mind where it arises to bug me occasionally, then I tell myself that I’m not to blame but it still bugs me.

    I’m a guilty looking person. If something happens I will somehow be blamed even if it’s not my fault. Others like to twist things around.

    Then I remember that things like that will resolve itself when that something comes back around and bites the guilty person in the ass.

    1. Thanks Lisa. Yes the universe will always play its part.

      I think we’ve all come across people who twist things around to make out we’re to blame, but in our hearts of heart we know we’re clearly not and for all the reasons outlined in your response this is why I believe we need to practice self-compassion.

      I feel that if I hadn’t have learned how to use self-compassion, I’d be carrying around other people’s guilt by the bucket load.

      We often have enough to deal with without holding on to other people’s guilt.

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