In April, I shared my personal experience of some techniques that help me listen to myself more closely as I navigate the challenging thoughts and strong emotions that arise from living and working with retinoblastoma. The heart and soul has a deep need to be heard, and daily self-enquiry strengthens our ability to recognise and trust our thoughts, feelings, and intuition, edit the negative stories we tell ourselves, and attend to our needs.
Listening to ourselves requires self-compassion, which can be hard to muster in tough times. Particularly when our sense of self-worth is low and we have no time or motivation to invest in self-care.
Being our worst storytelling enemy is easy. Becoming our compassionate, caring, loving, best friend takes time and attention, but it’s so vital to our wellbeing.
Below, I explain the difference between self-compassion, self-care, and self-love and how they are connected to one another, and why they matter so much. I highlight a common misconception about each that often becomes a barrier to practice, and offer simple ways to cultivate them in daily life.
I am no psychologist. I share from my own learning, understanding, and experience. I have desperately needed to develop these skills in myself, and the process continues moment by moment. Daily practice can be so hard, even when we understand the need and benefits. Writing this article helps refresh and cement the concepts in my mind, and I hope the explanations, suggestions and linked resources will be useful to you too.