Be compassionate … with yourself

I had a tough painting day today. I had high hopes of getting on with a commission job so I started with an oil pastel sketch to see how the land lay. I then moved on to acrylics on canvas board, knowing it wouldn’t be the final piece I decided to experiment. “Whatever happens,” I thought, “it’s good experience”. Of course I was still hoping it would turn out to be a masterpiece!

Unfortunately it didn’t go as planned and I really wasn’t pleased with the outcome. However much I told myself it was still good experience I was still disappointed. So I went for a walk to clear my grumpy mind.

Which made me think of something I’d seen on a School of Life video recently which was about self-compassion. The upshot is we should be kinder to ourselves. As an example, think about how we would treat a friend who came to us and explained they’d messed up in some way and were feeling bad about it. How would we react? I doubt we’d call them an idiot or a fool to think they could ever really get it right. That in any case they don’t have the right skills or talent to achieve whatever it was they were aiming to do. Curiously, though, we feel it acceptable to say these sorts of things to ourselves.

So after my walk in the woods I sat down to write this, thinking of that video which you can find below. Let’s be a little kinder to ourselves!


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