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life, mini break

How to take a break: crying (or self-compassion)

You’re hurting and you feel like crying. So what do you do?

You tell yourself you’re being ridiculous. You make yourself feel guilty for feeling sad: After all there are others who are much worse off. You are so privileged, you’re nothing but a spoiled brat. You tell yourself you don’t have the right to be sad, you don’t have the right to be hurting. And anyway: you’re grown-up, grown-ups don’t cry.

So stop feeling sorry for yourself!

Right?

How about trying something radically different? How about giving yourself a break and instead of joining in and bashing yourself, why not give yourself permission to be sad, permission to cry, permission to suffer? Why not take your hurting seriously?

Even if you’re just being ridiculous. Or especially when you’re just being ridiculous: Bawl your eyes out, pity yourself (who else is going to do that otherwise?), don’t worry about exaggerating. If you’re hurting then you have the right to do so. And if you were really just being ridiculous, then exaggerating can actually make you realize this and get you laughing again. (Spending all your energy trying not to cry won’t achieve that.)

And if you were not being ridiculous, if you were genuinely hurt, a good bawl probably won’t get it out of your system. But it definitely won’t do any harm and might be a small relief or a small step toward feeling better, just a little bit.

If you can’t have compassion for yourself, how can you have compassion for others?

So if you tend to be hard on yourself: Give yourself a break and be nice to yourself for once when you’re feeling down. You can start bitching again when you’re feeling better.

crying

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