Empathy is defined as:
the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
So self-empathy would be the ability to understand and share the feelings of yourself.
Having self-empathy is my ongoing practice, because I want to understand and be able to share my feelings.
Not understanding what we’re feeling, shoving our feelings away and keeping them suppressed or numb, isn’t a good long-term strategy.
Lack of self-empathy makes an enemy of yourself, and that’s no fun since you take yourself with you wherever you go.
In a perfect world, we would all have empathy for each other, and we would receive empathy from our caretakers while growing up, but often that doesn’t happen.
It’s up to us to be the one to change the dysfunctional pattern by practicing self-empathy, then using our abilities to have empathy for others. We can’t give to others what we ourselves lack.
At the heart of it, self-empathy is about being our own friend, and for some of us that’s the most important lesson of all.
image credit: Pixabay