Let’s Try Common Humanity
The main reason I practice Kristin Neff’s type of self-compassion is because I suffer from frequent shame storms. Shame is the painful feeling that we are unworthy of love and belonging, and it can make us feel all alone. That’s why I strive to remember the second aspect of Neff’s self-compassion definition: common humanity.
There are a million things we may feel alone in:
Mental health issues
Any area where we encounter shame feelings, or “it’s just me” feelings is an area where self-compassion can help. When we feel everyone else has it together, it’s important to do a reality check.
It just isn’t possible to have a problem no one else has had, but vulnerability is hard, and most people aren’t speaking their shame. In our perfectionism culture, it makes sense to feel isolated! Reaching out to a friend or support network, reading blogs, even dissecting research and statistics can help us access common humanity. There are many ways to learn we aren’t singularities in struggle!
When we recognize suffering is part of the shared human experience, it helps quell our shame feelings. That’s why tapping into common humanity is important.