Self-Compassion and Loving Kindness in Tough Times

Anubha Doshi, Founder- Director: Artsphere and Soulsphere

Student of Mindfulness at the Just Being Centre, Pune

As I tossed and turned unable to sleep last night, images of me being isolated in quarantine haunted me. With the thought of every simple cough taking me closer to the dreaded corona virus, I was gripped with anxiety, rising nausea and a hollowness in my stomach. A kind of restlessness permeated my whole body and I felt the beginnings of a panic attack.

In the throes of these overwhelming sensations I heard a faint voice saying, “it will be ok”. A gentle soothing nurturing voice, that grew stronger as I allowed it to penetrate my conscience, “it’s ok to feel this, you are not alone, the whole world is gripped by this panic and anxiety.”

This was not my mother, or my friend or my beloved. This voice was the voice of my self-compassion, my own caring, nurturing self. As a student of mindfulness, this concept of Buddhism was what touched me the most, where we show compassion to ourselves and befriend our difficult emotions. I softly, gently, befriended this anxiety, not fully maybe, but enough to soothe myself in this distress. This was a new voice for me. I had never shown this tenderness to myself. I always considered myself to be a superwoman, never allowing my vulnerability to show even to myself, let alone to the world.

“Self - compassion involves treating yourself the way you would treat a friend who is having a hard time. Through self- compassion we become an inner ally instead of an inner enemy.” - ‘The Mindful Self–Compassion Workbook’ by Chr