Janet Pearlman

Living in the Stream of Yes

Open to Self-Compassion


Many of us who are evolving and growing are encouraged to take stock of ourselves regularly and make course corrections. We want to notice our habits of thought and practice ones that serve us more constructively. In this process of unfolding, let’s put lots of emphasis on self-compassion along the way. Let’s make it ok to be just where we are at any moment even in those instances when we catch ourselves with an outdated perspective.

Some of us might judge ourselves for where we are, what we observe in ourselves.

In this post we illustrate a trip to self-judgment and how by finding kindness for ourselves, self-compassion, we might change more effectively and experience more joy on the journey.

Getting Frisky, 24 x 30, $595

Brenda wanted to get some advice from a spiritually attuned wise friend who had helped her in the past. She began, “I wonder if you can tell I have been crying. Are my eyes all puffy? I realize I have been inauthentic to Barry (this man I’ve been seeing). I wanted him to visit for longer and more frequently. Waking up to this has really triggered my emotion– it’s so upsetting! In a light way I asked him  if he was running home to his girlfriend.  

Oh Gosh. I am so bad. I really don’t want him to have a woman other than me!”

Brenda felt distraught, so ashamed of her behavior.

Is shaming oneself the most productive approach to our evolution? Not at all.

In Good Morning, I Love You Shauna Shapiro points out the chemical effect in our beings when we trigger shame. “When we feel shame the amygdala, the part of our brain that is central to memory, decision making and emotional responses, triggers a cascade of norepinephrine and cortisol chemicals that increase our stress level, narrow our perspectives n perceived ‘threats’ and inhibit our cognitive flexibility. Shame puts in the fight, flight or freeze survival response, thereby inhibiting the learning center of the brain… If we want to learn from our mistakes, we need a compassionate mind set, not shame. “[1]

What could Brenda say to herself that would be more constructive? Her trusted companion responded,

“First let’s understand why your dear one inside behaved that way. You meant to respect Barry. You did not want to demand too much from him or crowd him. We can see you were feeling your way to interest him, maintain the connection and the flow.”

“In this processing, you now discern your own inner desires. You do want more from him—exclusivity, a bit more commitment and closeness, perhaps more frequent visits.  Isn’t that good to know and an important step. You have more clarity about what you want, always a good thing!

You have a bright future! When you feel ready, you can share with him that which you have learned about your deeper desires. You can accept yourself as you enjoy this companion. It’s ok to know you want something more committed. Will he be turned off when you inform him that you want that? We don’t know and you can call the shots.

You can support yourself as you prepare yourself to share more of your heart. You are worthy of your own love for yourself right now.”

Did this post offer some insight? Do you have a story about self-compassion to share? Please comment! We love empowering one another.

[1] Shauna Shapiro, Good Morning, I Love You, (Boulder, CO, Sounds True, 2020) p. 79

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