If you experienced trauma as a child, you may struggle with self-compassion. You may berate yourself for your shortcomings, beat yourself up for your mistakes, or feel that you are unworthy of love and care. However, it is important to know that you are not alone and that there is hope for healing.
When we experience abuse or neglect as children, it can cause us to develop negative beliefs about ourselves. We may believe that we are bad, undeserving, or unlovable. These negative beliefs can lead to feelings of shame, which can be infinitely painful. Shame is a deeply humiliating and embarrassing emotion that leaves us feeling exposed, vulnerable, and like we are not good enough.
Fortunately, there is a way to heal from these childhood wounds. Cultivating self-compassion can help us to overcome the negative beliefs that were instilled in us during our childhoods and learn to see ourselves in a more positive light.
What is Self-Compassion?
Self-compassion involves treating ourselves with the same kindness, caring, and understanding that we would give to others. It means recognizing our own suffering and giving ourselves the compassion that we so desperately need.
Self-compassion has three main components: mindfulness, common humanity, and self-kindness.
- Mindfulness refers to the ability to be present without judgment. When we are mindful of our thoughts and feelings, we can observe them without getting wrapped up in them. This allows us to step back and see our experiences more clearly.
- Common humanity refers to the fact that all human beings suffer. We all make mistakes and have flaws. No one is perfect. Understanding this can help us to feel less alone in our suffering and more connected to others.
- Self-kindness refers to being gentle with ourselves when we make mistakes or face difficulties. Instead of beating ourselves up, we need to learn to treat ourselves with kindness and understanding.
If you experienced childhood trauma, know that it doesn’t have to define you or hold you back from reaching your full potential in life. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to cultivate self-compassion. When you have self-compassion, you view yourself with kindness and understanding instead of judgment and criticism. This can lead to increased mental well-being overall, including increased resilience, better coping skills, and improved relationships. If you want to increase your self-compassion, try practicing mindfulness, gratitude, and reaching out to others for support.
An attitude of kindness can be cultivated by simply being in the presence of a therapist who is caring and kind. Learning about how our minds work, helps us develop self-compassion by realizing that our struggles are not intentional, but can be explained in scientific terms. To start your healing journey, please contact us to book a 15-min discovery consultation with one of our therapists.