The Two Sides of Self-Compassion and Why You Need Both

Sometimes self-compassion gets a bad rap.

Sometimes people are confused as to what self-compassion is.

Let me explain it this way.

I’ve done a fair bit of work to come face to face with my own limiting inner narratives – the harsh inner critical voices that evolved out of childhood and cultural conditioning.

Maybe you’ve got those too? Those voices that tear you down, and disconnect you from your truth and higher purpose?

To neutralize my inner voices, I’ve done the nurturing compassion work.

The gentle compassion piece of noticing these inner narratives, making space for them, understanding them and thanking them for the role they have played.

And I’ll be honest that was some soul-searching work.

I mean, I traveled those inner critical pathways for three and a half decades!

Those grooves were deeply coated in myelin and dug pretty deep.

And from a neuroscience point of view you cannot rid yourself of old pathways. You can only create new ones and shift energy elsewhere.

So, there are still times today, despite all the inner work I’ve done, where I experience doubt, fear and inner critical voices.

But the difference now is that I recognize it. I feel energy going towards those old roads. I’ll feel a downward pull in my body. I’ll notice a thought about to arise. And I say stop.

And that stop – that firm boundary – is the second piece of self-compassion.

Sometimes self-compassion is not the nurturing hand.

Sometimes self-compassion is the fierce warrior, the guardian who says no.

Who says enough.

Who says there is something in here worth defending and that fear, doubt, the devil that takes us away from who we truly are, does not get in any more.

And when you find that fierce, protective, self-compassion you find a powerful path towards freedom, change and your full human potential.

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