My take on self-compassion (aka self-care) is that it’s all about being the mother to yourself that you need in the moment.
The moment when you feel exhausted but don’t want to quit working on the current task because you feel you didn’t get enough of it done.
Or the moment when something you planned didn’t pan out the way you intended and you’re disappointed in yourself.
Maybe your mother is still alive and you have a wonderful relationship with her. Maybe you think of her as your best friend. Or maybe that relationship is the opposite of that. Maybe your mother is no longer here, like mine.
Either way, your mother can’t perform self-compassion activities for you. That’s your job. If you do this job well, the rewards are plentiful.
From my perspective, the biggest reward is feeling more relaxed and centered. My head is more clear. Mothering myself combats my anxiety. I’m better able to enjoy the present moment as a result. To be there for the ones I love.
Sometimes my mothering self is who reminds me that I need to get up early tomorrow so I better cease my late night Twitter scrolling and get to bed now so I feel rested when I wake up.
Sometimes my mothering self is who whispers “this too shall pass” and reminds me of all the obstacles I’ve overcome to get to the place I’m at now.
Other times my mothering self fixes a hot cup of peppermint tea and gives me permission to lounge on the couch, looking up at my knotty pine ceiling and just breathing, slow and steady.
In the mornings, my mothering self urges me to not skip doing my stretches and yoga that centers me and reduces my aches and pains.
Sometimes my mothering self takes on the role of cheerleader, giving me pep talks and saving uplifting images like these for me to contemplate.
So, I say to you all: make an effort to mother yourself. You’ll feel so much better for it. And of course, you are more than worth it.