Show up for yourself: The case for self-compassion

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smiling police officers having coffee break with doughnutsDo you find yourself feeling run down, depressed, ashamed or insecure? If you’re dealing with some of these uncomfortable feelings, it may be time to work on showing yourself a little grace.

You’ve probably seen T-shirts that say “spread kindness” or “if you can be anything, be kind.” While these sayings focus on how we act toward others, we need to direct that kindness inward as well.

We’re all going through things. We try. We struggle. We win some, we lose some. Life is painful sometimes. We don’t always live up to our own expectations. Sometimes we dislike what we see in the mirror. Sometimes we get frustrated with our actions. The thing is, we need to remember we’re not perfect. We all make mistakes. And the majority of us don’t look like swimsuit models (and that’s okay, really!).

Instead of beating ourselves up over the past or things we can’t change, we should work on focusing on the positive. For example, when you look in the mirror, don’t pinpoint everything you wish you could change. Instead, focus on what you like. Even better, remember the old adage “that what’s inside matters most.”

If you find yourself always wishing you were better at something else or looking at others and thinking “I wish I could do that,” take time to think about your own special talents. We’re sure you have more than you realize. If you’re not sure what they are, ask your loved ones. They may notice things you don’t even think of.

Let’s talk about your past mistakes, too. We know it can be hard to forgive yourself when you’ve done things you despise or find unforgivable. But you can’t live in shame. You’ll never move forward if you continue to look back. Learn from the things you wish you hadn’t done. Make amends where you can, then forgive yourself. Focus on how your future will be different.

If you mess up in the present, dust yourself off. Say sorry if the situation calls for it. Then, move forward and try again. Remember, “life is not about how many times you fall down. It’s about how many times you get back up.” – Jaime Escalante

Life is hard and we’re all going through things. That’s why kindness is necessary to live a happier and healthier life. We need not only be kind to others but show ourselves true kindness as well. Love yourself, flaws and all! Our programs can help you develop this important skill while you’re in recovery. Learn more on our website: