Encountering The Most Difficult Things
In terms of self-compassion, I am always interested in what people find the most difficult. Resoundingly, I have found that they struggle to get up in the morning, and find their way to bed in the evening. When today is hard, you want to put off tomorrow, and when yesterday was hard, you want to put off today. The most common way to manage this amongst people has been to reward themselves. Some people have a special brand of coffee that they like for the morning, or a special television show or tea for the evening. When life proves to be especially difficult, these buffers become less effective, and you need something more potent like self-compassion.
The Self-Compassion Fairy
To accommodate especially difficult days, I have created the self-compassion fairy. As children, we love this magical creature, who roots for us so much that she rewards the pain of our development (e.g, a lost tooth) with a financial reward. As adults, we also have difficult days, and these days are also necessary for a good life, now and in the future. While we are no longer children, we still need to be given credit in a way that honors our development, and rewards us for our suffering.
Activating The Self-Compassion Fairy
Here is how the self-compassion tooth fairy works. Right before bed, we right down the two most difficult things that we have faced today, and how we will reward ourselves for this hard work the following day. Upon awakening, we pack this with us on our way to school or work, and we prioritize these promises. Like the tooth fairy, we will have taken suffering, and made it into a badge of courage that we can wear proudly. We will be richer for it, and there will be magic in our lives again.
Ensuring The Self-Compassion Fairy Succeeds
Word to the wise: Do not break these promises. The tooth fairy succeeds at what she does because she keeps her promises to us. She can no less leave a note where the tooth was that says, “Deal with it!” than we can fail to deliver on the promises that we have made ourselves the night after a difficult day. You do not need difficult days for this practice. It can be of benefit every day. Just make sure to up your reward for particularly hard days. Finally, pick things that you can reasonably accomplish. Ta-da! You have now activated the self-compassion fairy, and this message will self-destruct in 5, 4, 3, 2….
365 Days Of Self-Compassion. Day 178. In The Books.