In therapy, I’m learning about self-compassion, the concept of treating yourself in times of pain and suffering as a compassionate, caring friend would. One of the self-compassion exercises is to write a letter to yourself from a caring friend, imagining what that person would say to you when you’re down, instead of what you usually say to yourself.
This is the letter I wrote. I want to share it, in case any of you want to write your own letter. And, if you want to learn more about this treatment, visit http://www.self-compassion.org.
First of all, I want you to know, I love you. No matter what. I need you to know that.
I’ve seen you suffering for a long time, now. It breaks my heart, and I’m so sorry for what you’re going through. If I could take all your pain away right now, I would do it.
You give yourself a lot of grief when you make a mistake. Any mistake. I know you think it diminishes you as a person in the eyes of others. You feel stupid. You feel like you can’t help but screw up, and you will always screw up, so you’re hopeless.
And you hurt. You hurt so much, you can feel it in your body. Sometimes, it even makes you wonder if maybe, everyone would just be better off without you around.
I’m really sorry that this is your life. I just want you to feel my embrace right now. I have my arms around you, and I’m sending all the love and compassion in me right into you.
Feel it. It’s warm. It’s comforting. It’s enveloping. You’re wrapped in it. Stay in it. As long as you need.
Listen to me: You’re a person of value. There are people in your life who love you. Think about them. Look at their faces. Listen to each of them telling you they love you.
Does that make you feel good? Stay in that moment. They don’t care about the mistakes you make. They care about you. They love you so much. Immerse yourself in that love. You love them, right? Well, it goes both ways. Trust me.
Their love is a soft, warm blanket. Cover yourself with it. Burrow down into it. Feel its warmth. Spend some time there.
This blanket is available for you anytime you need it.
And, next time you make a mistake, just remember: we all make them. We all make ’em! And usually, they’re the same ones, over and over. That’s called, being human. So, ease up on yourself; treat yourself nice. No name-calling. No beating yourself up. You’re still the same caring, loving, funny, good person you were before you made the mistake.
Always remember: you’re fine just as you are. I accept you, and I love you, just as you are. Feel my embrace, one more time, and take it with you everywhere.
And Walk in Love.
Your good friend,