This is a moment of suffering.
Suffering is a normal part of the human experience.
May I be kind to myself in this moment of suffering.
May I give myself the support and compassion I need in this moment.
Modified from Kristin Neff's book on
After reading Kristin Neff's book on self-compassion and learning more about how giving ourselves self compassion in moments of difficulty allows us to move through pain, rather than stay stuck in it, I am more convinced than ever that teaching my patients how to be self-compassionate during moments of suffering, is critical to healing and thriving amidst life's challenges.
Using these words when we feel upset, anxious, worried, scared or even angry can be helpful as we gently and lovingly remind ourselves that we are human, and that while we sometimes feel we are being singled out by the universe, god or just through bad luck, we can benefit by reminding ourselves that we are not alone in our suffering, and that only we can truly give ourselves what we need: love.
Every day I hear about the concept of learning to love ourselves, but how do we do that? I believe we love ourselves through setting and holding boundaries, taking care of our selves through self care, and by giving ourselves compassion when we are suffering.
The next time you find yourself struggling, try saying to yourself some version of the self compassionate phrases above. Make certain that you acknowledge your suffering, that you reference the universality of your suffering, and that you remind yourself to be kind, present and compassionate.
While it seems like it might take a lot of energy to focus on your suffering this way, it takes mountains more energy to try to contain and hold in the pain, the fear and wounds you are experiencing.
Acknowledging it is the first step in setting yourself, and your pain, free.
Dr. Kim Sage