My favorite way to explain giving yourself compassion is the analogy of how you would treat a small child. Let’s say your child is learning to walk. After a few wobbly steps, do you criticize him or her and say, “Look at you. You’re so clumsy. What’s wrong with you that you can’t walk yet.”? Of course not. You offer encouragement. You’re excited! You might even clap your hands in delight.
Now let’s say your child wants to eat candy for dinner. You set limits and say, “no” because only eating candy will likely make your child feel sick and it simply isn’t healthy. People mistakenly think that self-compassion always means saying “yes” to yourself. Sometimes it means saying “no”–but doing so with kindness. It’s important to remember that self-compassion involves nurturing and limit-setting.
Here’s another post I wrote about self-compassion and limit setting.
photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tammra/280999386/ via Photopin, CC