Be Good to Yourself

June 10th, 2009

self-compassionWhen parting with folk, I often say something like “Be good to yourself.”  I thought the meaning of this statement was self-evident.  But when someone asked me what I meant, I realized that I needed to be clear.

When I think of people who’ve been marginalized by society, family, or friends and infected by self-hatred and self-doubt – the meaning of being good to one’s self is clear to me.  Such people often have destructive inner dialogues about themselves.  Perhaps you know what I mean… “I should have…” “I’ve got to stop!”  “What’s wrong with me?”  “Why can’t I…?”  Their mind, thoughts and feelings feed them self-judgement, comparisons to others where they don’t measure up, and criticism after criticism.

For folks like this, being good to yourself means that, when your mind is beating yourself up, you take a moment.  You try to just notice what your mind is doing to you.  You become aware.  And, perhaps, just this once, you question your thoughts.  Maybe your thoughts and feelings are just that – thoughts and feelings.  Take a moment to consider that feelings aren’t necessarily facts.  Feelings come and go, as do thoughts.  And by challenging your beliefs, you begin to practice self-compassion.

If you want some assistance is learning how to be good to yourself, contact Mike Giordano, LICSW, in Dupont Circle, Washington, DC at or 202-460-6384.

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