Poet Galway Kinnell beautifully captures self-compassion in this poem:
everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on its brow. . .
and retell it in words and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, ofself-blessing
To begin practicing self-compassion, it can be helpful to write a letter to yourself about a current struggle in your life, or an area where you feel inadequate and want to motivate yourself to change.
In this letter to yourself, write as if you were talking to a dear friend facing the same concerns as you. How might you respond to your friend? What might you say? How might you support her?
(Try not to think too much about organizing your words or thoughts. Simply write from your heart.)
After writing the letter, put it in an envelope and mail it to yourself. When you receive it, see if you can slowly re-read it, letting the words soothe and comfort you.