I would like to share with you an exercise to promote self-compassion. It is important to treat ourselves with care and concern when confronted by mistakes, failures and perceived shortcomings. In this exercise I would like you to choose an aspect of yourself that you dislike or criticize. It can be behavior, appearance, health, relationship or anything else that you struggle to accept about yourself. Feel free to do this exercise on your own or even in the comments section.
Write down in detail about how the perceived inadequacy makes you feel. What memories, thoughts emotions or stories come up for you when you think about it?
Next, imagine someone who is unconditionally loving, accepting and supportive. This person sees and knows all your perceived inadequacies. This person sees your strengths and opportunities for growth. This person accepts, forgives and loves you just as you are.
Now, write a letter to yourself from the perspective of this accepting and loving person. What does this person say to you? How do they encourage and support you in taking steps to change? Let the words flow and don’t worry about grammar or spelling. Just write!
After writing this letter, put it aside for 15 minutes. Return to the letter and re-read it. Let the words sink in and feel the encouragement, support, compassion and acceptance. Review this letter whenever you are feeling down about this perceived flaw. Remember acceptance is the first step to change. (Make sure to save a copy for yourself if you write it in the comments section)
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