Each of the couples in the Melusine’s Daughter’s books has something they must learn not only to get through the dark moment of the book. Lyria and Drew (Waves of Pleasure) had to reach a new level of self-acceptance in order to realize what they had in their lives and for love to last. With Amina and Jonathan (Waves of Desire), a happy ending wasn’t going to be possible without self-forgiveness.
Coming in Waves of Seduction, Nerine and Fiero have the challenge of finding a place for self-compassion or the negativity and pressure they put on themselves will make it impossible for them to defeat the threat to the Oceans, and have the love they both crave.
Have you stopped to listen to the voice you use to talk to yourself? Really listen. If you’re at all like me, the voice you use to talk to yourself frequently doesn’t sound anything like the voice you use when you talk to your children, your spouse, coworkers or friends. In fact, chances are if you talked to them the way you talk to yourself… there would be some serious consequences.
When you talk to yourself like that – there are serious consequences.
Stress, depression, isolation, negativity and more are all a result of times when we are not practicing self-compassion.
Self-compassion is the ability to turn understanding, acceptance, and love inward. I was surprised when I did some research on the subject and discovered that to most clinicians it has three components:
- Connectedness/Common humanity
Mindfulness is about recognizing when we are stressed or struggling but doing it in a way where we’re not judging or over-reacting. It is a practice to get into first when you are in a good place. When something is going well or your relaxed and feeling good – notice your thoughts, notice how you’re talking to yourself. Then, when you are in the opposite situation, notice the changes in your thoughts and voice and bring it back to the kinder, open-minded way of thinking. You’ve made a mistake… that’s okay.
Self-kindness, to me the most obvious of the three, is about being supportive and understanding toward yourself when you’re having a hard time. This is where you treat yourself as wonderfully as you treat others when they are struggling. You deserve the same kindness as you give. And while receiving from the people in our lives is wonderful and important, it should start with kindness from yourself. When this happens, there’s a secondary benefit – you are better able to accept the kindness others are offering you because you have a core belief that you deserve the kindness. When we aren’t or can’t be kind to ourselves, it becomes nearly impossible to truly receive it when it comes from others.
Connectedness or common humanity is what keeps you from feeling isolated during these difficult times. Rather than comparing yourself to the successes and “perfection” you mistakenly look for (and find) in others, it’s important to realize that everyone – seriously, EVERYONE – makes mistakes, screws up and has setbacks, both major and minor. When we remember this is a common and natural occurrence, our ability to show ourselves compassion increases. We don’t feel alone, like the only one who can’t cope. Remembering this eases how we see and treat ourselves.
One of the ways I like to think of self-compassion is your personal insurance policy for when things go wrong. We don’t have car insurance for when things are fine – it’s for use after an accident. Health insurance is for when we get sick, not usually when we are well. Self-compassion is not something we need to practice when things are going well, when we’re feeling great about ourselves and what is happening in our lives. It is when things take a negative turn – then we need self-compassion. You need to make compassion your policy (get it… policy?) when you have a tough day, week, year, job, relationship. Whatever is making things challenging in your life. Be as good to yourself then – if not better – than you are when things are smooth and easy.
Over the next few weeks, leading up to the release of Waves of Seduction, I am going to be exploring the idea and practice of self-compassion, sharing articles on the subject, and giving you some hints and teasers from Seduction which shows how Nerine and Fiero struggle with this issue as well.