On self-compassion (and missing an awesome summer outing)


A long time ago… 

April 2 to be exact:

I walk inside a thrift-store for books and look over glossy magazines. Like a pendulum, my eyes would shift from fascination to disbelief (–that something so shallow could make it in these fancy pages!). Occasionally, I balk at the prize: “REALLY?”


I was supposed to board a bus with my colleagues for the company outing. 

I am supposed to prep at least three titles for my research.

I am supposed to do the cleaning because dusting off serves to be a release in both literal and metaphorical aspects.

I got to doing the cleaning. I hope I can work with my research. But that outing, I have missed. So, I won’t be able to visit that mountain resort, or eat free food, or hang around with my colleagues outside that block of a workplace.

Among the things we do, there will always be those that we actualize. And there will be those that pile up in our to-do list. And there will be those we don’t even get the chance to do. When I was younger, I’d berate myself. I am ruthless. But I’m a bit older now. I have learned the essence of self-compassion — not just in a metaphysical sense, but in the context of my retrospect-moments.

So what do I do now?

  1. I answer the why-question as honestly as I canWhy was I not able to do that?  Why did I missed the outing? Because my stomach hurts, because I ate and drank (and got drunk) yester-night, because I can’t peel my body off the comforting bed…
  2. I evaluate my answer. It’s hard to believe that I did what I did, or caused the “missing” of an outing. (groan). It’s difficult to face my own answers and learn that these were definitely not valid reasons, hell, these are silly excuses. I knew about the trip; then why consume food or drink that will hurt tomorrow’s appointment?
  3. I choose my response. Should I hate myself for missing a trip? Or should I not. Sometimes, I forget that I have the option to decide how I will feel afterwards. In fact, it’s easy to feel bad if someone caused you to feel bad than when it’s you who did bad. But my options hang there in the air and today, I chose to let it go and forgive myself. (Of course, this would have been an entirely different case if my missing the outing caused serious inconvenience to others.)  


I want to be better. I want to be good at what I do. But it’s definitely easy to forget when deadlines scream at you, or when the review that you’re supposed to receive isn’t sitting in your email box, or when every single thing that you need is right there but your mind is somewhere. I lash at myself. again. Pfft.

I may have devised an internal system to make self-compassion work. And yes, it would be so grand to tell you how effective this is! But I choose not to lie.

Oh well, where’s that glossy magazine?



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