Jeff Warren is a mediation teacher who records meditations for the Calm app. In a recent meditation he revealed that he had mis-defined “self-compassion.”
He thought that self-compassion meant
Generating loving feelings. Being kind of sentimental towards yourself.
This is how I always understood self-compassion. So I was surprised to learn that this isn’t quite it.
Instead, according to Warren,
Self-compassion is recognizing that you’re experiencing a challenging moment. Then it’s caring enough about yourself to respond in a kind way, without harsh judgment.
That feels very different from how I’ve always understood self-compassion.
We are so conditioned by hustle culture that the only way to produce results is to be hard on ourselves. The old way of thinking was that self-compassion is a weakness.
But studies continue to debunk this myth by showing that self-compassion is more effective than self-criticism and harshness.
Warren explains that through simple interventions like a walk in nature, you start to settle the nervous system and feel your feet underneath you.
You find support from within, rather than seeking it outside yourself.
This helps me see self-compassion in a new light. Through this definition, I can more clearly see that self-compassion is strength. Not sentimental. Not weak.