The Known Suffering- Why I Resist Self-Compassion
It can feel daunting to learn a task so far from your habitual way of living that it seems otherworldly. That’s how self-compassion feels. Otherworldly. But I have to ask, these years of self-loathing… where have they gotten me? Has cutting myself up and down helped? Has berating beautified me? Or have I broken myself to the point that the only thing left is to try something altogether different? That’s how self-compassion feels. Altogether different. And though I’ve seen research showing it works, and have read books and taken classes on self-compassion, it is still a practice I resist.
I cling to self-loathing because it’s a comfortable and known suffering. It’s easy for me, like zipping a jacket. It’s a frequently used and deeply ingrained skill. And it doesn’t skip town. It’s a reliable go-to response to stress. Self-loathing is so consistent it doesn’t require thought. But what I’ve found is self-loathing is simply shame. And shame is no motivator. Shame, the broken record of self-destructive noise, serves only to keep me stuck. And alone.
Speaking compassionately to myself without snarling, and taking care of a body I despise, these are the tasks at hand. I’ve read all I can on the topic. The practice has me falling on my face. But I keep trying. I can learn new things, and I am resilient as hell.