Self-Compassion Is Not Soft. It is Savage.
On the topic of self-compassion, some worry that it will leave them ill prepared for life’s struggles, that they will come off as wimps, and that there is something inherently uncool about being loving. In a recent conversation with a reader, he said, “Why do I have to be a self-compassion guy? I want to be a savage.”
Knowing that today’s definition veers clear of the violent, brutal definition of yesteryear, I simply asked him why he could not be both. Kindness sounds like something you serve with tea, and perhaps it is, but there is also a gritty, unrefined toughness about it. We use it to combat pain, suffering, fatigue, and stress.
How could anything with the will to face and overcome such dangers be anything less than ferocious? For all the people out there hoping to look as empowered externally as self-compassion makes them feel internally, here are five savage self-compassionate moves.
Five Savage Self-Compassion Moves
1. After a long week of work, you stumble back with fatigue to your home, when you notice the phone ring. It is a friend, who you care for deeply that has a knack for ill-timing, and long conversations about the people and things that frustrate him. Let out a long sigh, feel your body relax, and turn your phone off. No more phone calls today, self-compassion says NO WAY! You are a savage.
2. A coworker is venting about someone they know you are friends with, and is asking you to take sides. You notice this tension. You name it. This is conflict. You blow up a balloon in your mind, and tape the word conflict to it, and release the balloon, watching it rise into the distance. You let it go. You tell this coworker that you are sorry they are experiencing a difficulty with this person, and are confident that they will be able to resolve it. Then, you wish them a great day, AND LEAVE. You are a savage.
3. You wake up feeling bloated, only to look into the mirror, and feel saddened by what you see. You acknowledge this pain, name it, and soften around the parts of your body that feel tense. Then, you let it go. You call into work to say you will be late, and you treat yourself to a delicious, and healthy breakfast, all the while making a list of healthy items to pick up at the store, and times that you can go to the gym. The day cannot have your well-being. You are a savage.
4. You forget to pay a bill and get stuck with a late fee. You whip out that checkbook and pay it immediately, leaving no time to grow morose or sad. Then, you schedule the next bill in your calendar, and transition right into some biofeedback breathing. You are a savage.
5. Your friend breaks another plan with you, and asks if they can reschedule for the same week so they can go out on a date for the millionth time. You tell them that unfortunately you cannot because your week is full. The truth is that you are too self-compassionate to be someone’s convenient friend. You are a savage.
You Are A Savage
There is absolutely nothing weak about taking good care of yourself. In fact, it is what makes you strong. Beating yourself up, on the other hand, makes you weak. Be strong, and put self-compassion first in your life. After all, you are a savage.
365 Days of Self-Compassion. Day 133. In The Books.