Hakuna Matata and Self Compassion: The Apology Free Philosophy.


Hakuna Matata is a Swahili phrase made famous in a song from the Disney animated movie, The Lion King.  Its message is that you need not worry for the rest of your days.  It’s a problem-free philosophy or at least it is for a meerkat, a warthog, and a lion.  While Self-Compassion Psychology cannot promise that, it does extend the adage of having an apology free philosophy for thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations as they arise in your experience.

Every modality has to have an underlying belief or several underlying beliefs that are essential for it to work.  For Self-Compassion Psychology, one very important idea is that you make no apologies for your feeling states.  Whether you are sad, happy, angry, anxious, excited or simply freaking out, you come by those feelings naturally and honestly and therefore are welcome to them. 

Your feelings do not define you as they neither endure nor reflect your character.  Holding on to them as a weapon or means of harming someone or yourself is often where we find ourselves in trouble, but even in these instances the real issue often begins with not being able to feel the original feelings that were much less aggressive and toxic.

Often the media or our peer groups give us the indication that we need to be happy all of the time and need to ignore all other feeling states, but this is unrealistic and damaging.  Having to suppress feeling states (emotions or thoughts) contrary to happiness will cause you harm.   You will slowly begin to resent everyone and everything that told you to suppress these emotions, including yourself.  Yes, you will even find yourself in conflict with yourself. 

Additionally, the inability to express or accept emotions as they arise is a lot like holding your breath, when they do come out they will come out with a power potentially too strong for the moment.  For example, your partner forgets to turn the lights off before going to bed and it annoys you but you don’t say anything for weeks.  Then, one day you freak out and scream at them about the lights as if they have asked you to send your first unborn child to the moon.  Who knows? The moon might be great!  The more important point is that showing yourself self-compassion makes processing and coming to terms with your internal and external environment a lot easier.  It also helps people not feel like we are crazy. Who hasn’t been there, right? 

Being kind to yourself means allowing yourself to notice feelings and thoughts that come up without judgment or retribution towards yourself or others.  The bonus is that this kindness will free up some good will for better sleep, more enjoyable activities, greater focus at work or at school, and much happier relationships. You will also be more accepting and thus less judgmental of others.

 Being kind to yourself also means surrounding yourself with people and other influences on your thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations that bring you well being. So be kind to yourself.  Feel what you feel.  Surround yourself with others who support this. Most of all have a good life because you deserve it.

365 Days Of Kindness.  Self Compassion. Day 7.  In the Books.