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Yin and Yang of Self-Compassion

Let’s say that you see a child running out into the street just as a semi truck is coming would you

A. Tell him/her that everything is going to be okay and give them a hug

B. Yell as loud as possible to get out of the road and run out to get them out of the way.

Which did you choose?

The yin side of self-compassion is the caring, soothing side. This is the one that we usually think of. But there is another side which is the yang of self compassion. That’s the protective, strong side. This is the self-compassion we use when we need to take care of business. Picture a mama bear who protects her young.

Sometimes we have a tendency to say yes to things that we don’t have the capacity for right now. Or maybe we have unhealthy relationships that we need to let go of. Either way this is when that yang side of self-compassion comes in handy. This is the mama bear protection that we all need.

I remember being in the hospital giving birth to my stillborn baby and there was a nurse that completely embodied this yang compassion. She was not warm. She was not fun but she protected me in my vulnerable state like no one else could. She kept people away from me so I could rest. She told me that she was going to take care of me and I believed her.

The yang side of self compassion is just as important as the yin side. How can care for and protect yourself today? If you had a nurse making sure you got the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual rest that you need, what would she prescribe?

Try setting a healthier boundary with a person, place or thing that depletes your energy. Set a reminder on your phone to take a break, get to bed on time, or connect with another human. Maybe it's as simple as ordering pizza instead of making dinner, or letting the laundry wait while you protect your free time. Whatever it is do it unapologetically, and remember that taking care of yourself is the first step to personal growth, being creative, and being able to care for others.

May you be well!


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