BOOK REVIEW: ACHIEVING SELF COMPASSION – Giving yourself the gifts of happiness and inner peace

By Nate Terrell 2015

ISBN: 978-1-5049-4901-9(sc)

ISBN: 978-1-5049-4904-0 (e)

In his introduction Nate Terrell writes “Our ability to meet the needs of others is largely contingent on our ability to treat ourselves with compassion. Our subsequent sense of happiness, inner peace and wholeness frees us to give to other people without depleting ourselves.”  (Author’s emphasis.) This is THE key to a happy and fulfilled life. So often we grow up or raise our children to give to others first believing that is right and then cannot understand why they suffer “donor fatigue,” burn out or worse.

By denying ourselves self-care we drain our tank. So it should not be a surprise that burnout happens and we suffer a variety of symptoms: dissatisfaction with our life, stress, depression, sadness, anger, emotional avoidance, misery, relationship issues, insecurity, loss of self-esteem and self-confidence and stagnation in our personal development.

Looking after ourselves is not selfish. It is vital to our wellbeing. How can we care for others if we do not care for ourselves? Giving to others, the needy, does not replenish us, it drains us. The emphasis we are encouraged to reflect is the reverse of what we actually need. But why, what does self-compassion do for us? Why do we need it? Self-compassion validates who we are, giving us positive energy for life (not just mere existence); it is an emotional boost that enables us to weather life’s storms and be resilient (bouncing forwards after a challenge or crisis). Self-compassion empowers us to change ourselves, to grow and personally develop as individuals. It also enables us to let go of what we cannot change, to accept it and release it. Now who doesn’t want this or need this in their life?

In “Achieving Self Compassion” Nate details in short chapters how we can achieve self-compassion for ourselves. How we can continually top up our tank to have enough to share. He does not use complicated, difficult or academic language; he uses the language we use daily. You do not always need help to achieve self-compassion. The beauty of this book is #changeonething and do it for yourself! Across ten chapters the author gives us different routes to achieving self-compassion, different routes to re-filling our tanks. We can do this for ourselves. It is not selfish, it is imminently sensible.

Whilst reading the book (most of it twice) I found some pointers resonated more loudly than others. The ones that resonate are the ones I need to work on. For example I have developed a pretty good sense of self over the years, what I am good at or not, so tuning into my authentic self and listening to the still small voice within is fairly easy for me (Chapter 8). On the other hand I do have to work on accepting/believing I have intrinsic worth and am inherently worthy; so chapter 3 is one I shall re-read. It reminds me of other work I have done which I may benefit by re-revisiting using the recommended strategies at the end of that chapter.

An addition I think would be useful is an associated work book associated that connects to the “Try These Strategies for Size” at the end of each chapter. Yes, Nate is really practical with his suggestions here. Okay, create your own – grab a note book, write down the strategies, think about and record what you should do and can change to be more self-compassionate. I still think a guided workbook would be useful, it creates accountability and a permanent record of our growth, our change, our development in self—compassion; a record we can refer back to (and is less likely to be tossed out than a notebook). It will be a reminder of the self- development we have done and of what we have achieved. Nate – there’s another book here!

Achieving Self Compassion can be purchased here.

 

 

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