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Strategies for Self-Compassion

By Frances L. Hennessey, LICSW

Strategies for Self-CompassionRalph Waldo Emerson, one of the New England Transcendentalists, was very influential for me as a teenager. I have found many of his essays and aphorisms to be very useful, both personally and professionally. The one pearl I have gotten the most mileage out of is from his essay Love, written in 1841: “Each man sees over his own experience a stain of error, whilst that of other men looks fair and ideal.”

When we compare ourselves to others, we may feel better or worse. It may be more useful to minimize comparison and instead consider our connections to one another and all life forms on the planet if we are working toward building a healthier relationship to the self.

5 Comments to
Strategies for Self-Compassion

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  1. I really like the way that you wove in Emerson and the poetry of Desiderata- I’ll remember the stain of error when i am being self-critical. Thanks too for the child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars-really beautiful, thank you.

  2. I really like the research that self-compassion can increase motivation and engagement. Good news!

  3. Very useful info about self-esteem not being universally beneficial as we previously thought. Will use this with my clients–nice concise explanation.

  4. If you don’t have compassion for yourself, you cannot give it to anyone else. Really like this and look forward to reading your future offerings-nice writing style.

  5. I found the statement regarding the ability actually to, “resculpt the brain through focused attention and practice is a beacon of hope for all of us”, very powerful and inspiring of hope.

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