Janet Pearlman

Living in the Stream of Yes

Self-Compassion Worth It!


As we practice new habits of thought, let’s be kind to ourselves along the way. We humans require process, practice, time in order to shift our patterns of thinking especially about how we talk to ourselves!

Let’s make it ok to be just where we are at any moment. We may realize we are spewing unproductive self-talk that limits and shames us.

Jiving, 12 x 16, $225

In this post an everywoman catches herself coming from an outdated premise and judges that in herself. Then she opens herself to a better alternative.

Heidi’s Story

Heidi consulted a wise and respected friend.

H shared, “I am very upset. I caught myself taunting the man I am dating by asking him if he was running home to his girlfriend. Now I see I did not have the courage to tell him I want him to be exclusive with me.”

Heidi felt distraught and ashamed of her words to her male friend.

Dixie, the advisor, wants H to experiment with an alternative to shaming herself.

Advisor’s Response

D reports, “In Good Morning, I Love You the author Shauna Shapiro points out the chemical effect in our beings when we trigger shame. Shauna writes, ‘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 chemical soup increases our stress level, narrows our perspectives and perceived ‘threats’ and inhibits 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]

Heidi inquired, “What could I say to myself that would be more constructive?”

Trusted D continued,

“First let’s understand what was going on with you inside. You meant to respect your male friend. 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.  You have more clarity about what you want, always a good thing!

A Bright Future

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 until you have that conversation, 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.”

Do you want to offer yourself more self-compassion? Do you want to share an account about acting with kindness to yourself? 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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