Resource of the Day (RoD): Self-Compassion

Cover of Neff's book

My therapist suggested (some time ago) that I read Kristen Neff’s Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself. I’m finally getting to it, but I struggled to get going. Self-compassion is . . . um . . . well, I’m not all that great at it. So, I told said therapist I wanted to read it, and at the end of our last session, I said, “Give me some homework.” She said she wanted me to have read the first chapter by our next meeting. So, I asked for this pain.

Last night, I finished the first chapter. There are exercises. I both love and hate this. The exercises generated a great deal of anxiety, and I cried trying to explain it to my husband. It’s astonishing to me that trying to be kind to myself causes me so much pain. One exercise involved writing a letter of compassion to myself as if I were an imaginary character. I chose Offread (or June) from The Handmaid’s Tale. I’ll just let that sit where it is.

But the best part was when I took the associated self-compassion quiz, and I got a low score, and I told my husband in a self-deprecating manner that of course, I scored low. He stared at me and goes, “I know it’s not funny, but naturally, you’re giving yourself shit for not scoring high on a self-compassion quiz.”

Yeah. It be like that.

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