I was given the challenge by a wonderful therapist, Victoria Marano in New York, to write a blog about the relationship of self-worth and compassion.
What struck me was that a part of having compassion and recognizing self-worth could be tied up with self-acceptance. If you don’t accept yourself, warts, strengths, challenges, beauty, you might not be able to feel compassion for yourself when you are struggling. You might have an inner voice that says mean things to yourself, like, why don’t you ever finish up on time, why are you always needing to be on a diet, what is wrong with you. That inner critic might hold you hostage and keep you from recognizing all of you and seeing your own worth.
Part of good mental health is the ability to be realistic about goals, what can get done in a day, what you are able to achieve on your own and what you might need help with. We are not self sufficient islands that can do everything that is needed to survive in a balanced way.
So, you might need to start taking baby steps to achieve self-acceptance and then note self-worth and ultimately have compassion for yourself when things are tough for you.
So back to Victoria’s original question is there a relationship between self-worth and compassion. I think when we feel right with ourselves and our lives, we are more able to feel a sense of self-worth, feel compassion for ourselves and for other people around us. And of course, if we have self-acceptance, we can be more realistic in our thoughts, feelings and goals.
I hope to return to this topic in February.