By Angelica Gavaldon
When I first had someone ask me if I had self-compassion, I immediately thought, of course. I was being good to myself, I woke up early to make sure I had my quiet time before my family got up, I took care of my body, exercised, ate well, read my bible, prayed, and even self-indulged when I felt like it. The more I learned about what it truly means to be kind to yourself, the quicker I realized that I was so far from having any self-compassion at all.
Self-compassion basically means being lovingly compassionate to yourself, just like you would be to a loved one. I became self-aware of my thoughts, words and actions and my life began to change in the most beautiful way possible. I started questioning my motives for waking up at 4 am to train even if my body did not feel like it. I asked myself if I would wake up Noah, my son, at this time even if he was sleep-deprived? NO!
Every action I took, I began by questioning it. Would I let my son drink ten diet sodas a day? Would I let my son be so hard on himself? Would I feed this to my son? And guilt him all day for saying or eating the wrong thing? Why am I judging myself so much when I make a mistake? I was not even allowing myself to sit down with a friend to have coffee, thinking I needed to be doing something more productive with my time.
One of the most important things we can do, is to truly love ourselves. Our relationships with others begin to change, everything begins to flow in a natural way because we become less stressed and more at peace. I began to take big breaths during the day, in the middle of traffic. I started to sit quietly in the day, close my eyes for 5 minutes to pause instead of feeling the need to immediately return a work call. I started to focus on the most precious thing which is the moment we have NOW and not look ahead or think of the million things I needed to get done.
I began to be gentler with myself, I realized there is only one life, one me, and I have chosen to have a life that is fully lived and that begins inside of me. We do not get two lives, this is it, so let’s love ourselves and breathe life in.