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gateway to authentic self

Last Friday, 17.2.2023, I had an opportunity to talk about Self compassion, emotional resilience and decision making in collaborations as part of the AEIOU breakthrough female leaders.

I have described self – compassion as a gateway to more authentic me. It is linked to our ability to hold ourselves when the feelings of pain, shame, guilt, self-judgement come up. It enables us to see more of who we are with self honesty.


According to the research that dr. Kirstin Neff did there are three components of self compassion:

       Self kindness – connected to the deep feeling of Care, so we are able to hold ourselves in whatever feeling is coming up, recognizing harsh words and judgements toward self and asking ourselves Is this kind? Is this loving to myself? Would I actually say this to someone I love and care for?

       Common humanity – realizing it’s not just you feeling i.e. envy and judging it. Being able to take an emotion that we label with judgement and take It

       Opening up to broader perspective: What else could be the reason?, What else could this mean?


Tending from this energy to our own feelings, naming them, is process of holding ourselves with gentleness. This energy is gentle, tender.

However, as the title of a book Fierce self compassion indicates, there is another facet of self compassion. Fierce self compassion. This is linked to action and assertiveness. To step from the victim to taking charge. This energy is very close to anger. Kirstin Neff mentions constructive anger. To be able to handle that facet of compassion appropriately is still a process of learning and exploring for me. I have witnessed destructive anger inside and outside of myself and now learning more and more to use this energy from the place of a firm “no”, from the center of knowing myself and honoring what my emotions are saying and what my feelings are, what my values are and what is important for me.


In Radical acceptance book Tara Brach connects self-compassion and mindfulness that brings in clarity, both together she writes results into self-healing.

I find clarity a tricky one as we can get lost in our own stories, that are still trying to protect the wound in the best possible way. Sometimes talking with trained practitioner about the experience after we held ourselves and recognized the feelings, can bring us closer to the truth and clarity. So with applied self compassion and dialogue with other, the healing can take place. Healing, that brings us a bit closer to Freedom.

Here is my favorite part from Fierce self-compassion: How Women Can Harness Kindness to Speak Up, Claim Their Power, and Thrive, by Kirstin Neff, PhD:

“When we embrace our pain with kindness, we feel loving,

when we remember our common humanity, we feel connected,

when we’re mindful of our pain, we are present. “

If our intention is to live this life with an open heart,  present with what is, then self compassion is an integral part of our journey.


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