A very powerful way of starting a sentence in a compassionate voice is “I accept… (that I acted this way in this situation and I am able to forgive myself and learn from this, move forward)”. Not only that this way of looking at things feels actively comforting and supportive, but it also taps into a mindful observation of things as they are without self-judgement. And if you find it difficult to speak to yourself this way, pause and ask yourself: how can I talk to myself from the place of love, from my heart? Because compassion and compassionate journalling comes from our heart and helps us heal.
Another powerful way of starting a sentence in our personal journal is this: “It is understandable (that I acted this way considering…)”. This way, we can do what in psychology is called re-parenting – we can provide care, validation and comfort to our inner child. This feels good.
So how do we actually start with compassionate journalling? Here are our three tips. You can start your sentence with the following: “It makes sense (to me that… considering…)” and tap into your inner sense of compassion for others and for yourself.
A compassionate voice protects us from the biases, projections and stories we tell ourselves about ourselves that come from others, from our past, and from our social context even. So to practice a little bit of mindfulness, to stay in the moment, to connect with our feelings simply as they are (without any additional narratives), can be pretty liberating. We learn and grow from mistakes. That is how we grow wiser. So try: “I choose to be present with this feeling, face it and explore it to learn from it.”
Self-compassion taps into our collective sense of humanity, which sounds basic, but is incredibly powerful – because it responds to our most inner fear of social isolation. So when you make a mistake or feel bad about something, try this approach: “Everyone makes mistakes, it’s what being human is all about.” Think about this seriously, can you operate from a place where this is your truth?
Self-kindness is the part that responds to our self-judgement. It’s the voice that says: “It’s okay to feel this way.” Notice how you feel when others say that to you and when you say it to yourself. Yes: practice in front of the mirror; why not? If affirmations work for you, this could be one of them.
Compassionate journalling is a form of awakening, practising and nurturing our inner accepting, comforting, supporting self.
We can already have a compassionate voice and practice it – we just mainly use it for others while we can remain critical of ourselves.
So maybe notice if you are using a compassionate voice already and how you could possibly direct it towards your inner self too?
In a small act of resistance against the January trends pushing for resolutions, health improvements and habit hacking, we have decided to look at self-compassion this month. This month we are exploring the power of an inner compassionate voice for softer healing. Join us!
“The Wisdom of Trauma” documentary featuring the life, work and impact of the work of Dr Gabor Maté, a significant voice in trauma and addiction therapy, is currently available for preview online for a small donation (until this Thursday).