We know everyone makes mistakes, drops the ball, and breaks promises at some point. Your shame voice will take any opportunity to convince you that you are worthless, and if anyone actually knew you-there’s no way they would love you. Learning to show yourself compassion is vital when it feels like your shame is the only thing you can hear.
In my last blog post, I shared a few ways that we can use courage to conquer shame. In this post, I hope to show you ways you can begin the process of overcoming your shame by having compassion for yourself.
To understand self-compassion, we must first understand compassion. To have compassion means that you realize that suffering, failure, and imperfection are part of the shared human experience. In realizing this, you are able to offer understanding and kindness in struggle, rather than judgement and condemnation.
Self-compassion is not ignoring the pain, gritting your teeth and bearing it mentally. Being able to extend compassion to one’s self means being able to truly understand that we are all imperfect. It means learning to speak with kindness to yourself rather than tearing down or simply ignoring the pain. This is where self-compassion starts, by changing our internal dialogue.
How do we change our internal dialogue?
1. Rely on the truths of Scripture that God loves us unconditionally
There are times when our shame gets so loud we are not able to change the internal conversion with our own will. That is why I find one of the best places to start is going to the word of God to help us reframe our shame in His truth. I give myself compassion because God first gave me compassion.
Meditation provides a space to clear your mind and focus on changing our internal dialogue. Spend this time reflecting on Scriptural truths, words of encouragement, other positive affirmations.
Having the courage to connect with others is an extremely effective way to change our internal dialogue. Once we get our shame and pain out into the open we are able to see it in a different light, see that we are not alone. This is powerful because it helps us remember that suffering, failure, and imperfection are part of the shared human experience.
In our next post, we will be going into more depth on how you can use connection to conquer shame.
What are other spiritual truths that help you change your internal dialogue?
Some additional resources on self-compassion from Dr. Kristin Neff:
The Space Between Self-Esteem and Self Compassion [Video]
Exercises to increase Self-Compassion
Embracing Our Common Humanity With Self-Compassion