Many of us have a tendency to be very unkind towards ourselves; made all the more pernicious by the fact that we are not even aware of doing so. To practice greater self-compassion, we need to recognise the forms our self-hatred takes - and where their roots might lie.
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“If there is one generalisation we can hazard of those who end up mentally unwell, we could say that they are masters at being very nasty to themselves without noticing they are even being so.
Release from the grip of self-loathing therefore has to start with a growing awareness of what we are doing to ourselves – and what the alternatives might be. For example, we might start to notice that no sooner has something nice happened to us that we set about wondering when something awful will strike in revenge; that every success has to be ruined by a feeling of foreboding and guilt; that every potentially pleasant day ends up marred by panic or a sense of loss; and that we spontaneously imagine that everyone must hate us and that the worst things are being said about us the moment we leave any room.”
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