I recently did a coaching session with a client who was experiencing deep levels of depression. I suggested to this person that he show himself some compassion. The client just looked at me with a vacant face. He said, “how can I be self-compassionate when don’t feel a thing inside, it’s like I’m empty”. My first reaction was to go off on my self-love speel. But i recognized that I needed to meet this guy where he was. I said “let’s just take the first step towards self-compassion. Let’s just get you to lighten up on your self”.
See when we are in very dark places there is usually a lot of self-judgment in the picture. We usually genrealise our lives and who we are. I’m unlovable, life is pointless, my best years are behind me. These are just some of the limiting generalizations we face when we are in a dark place. Moving towards self-compassion can almost seem unimaginable. But we can take baby steps towards it by simply lightening up on ourselves.
When I say lighten up I mean feeling into the idea that it’s ok that I’m not ok. It’s okay that I feel like this. We need to understand that our feelings are trying to tell us that something isn’t working in our lives and that’s ok. We don’t have to fix it all in this moment or even next month.
Surprisingly we find that when we drop the urgency to heal and lighten up on ourselves we move towards healing at a much faster rate. When we can accept that were not in a good place we indirectly soothe ourselves. Think for a moment the last time you had a good cry did you lot feel a little lighter or more grounded after it.
That’s because crying serves a function. it allows you to express yourselves and in some way sooth yourselves. The same can be said for allowing yourself to sit in your discomfort or deep depression. Don’t mistake this for identifying or even justifying your feelings. This simply means allowing yourself to be where you are. So I offered this idea to the client and he had a much easier time begging his journey towards compassion and self-love.