It's hard to feel compassionate for yourself when you have a lot of self-loathing. Most of us pretend that we don't, but deep down we do. We beat ourselves up for eating the wrong thing or eating too much, for saying the wrong thing or not saying anything at all, for avoiding the work we know we have to do or working all the time, for getting triggered when we want to stay calm, or disengaging because we don't know how to stay calm and connected. The list goes on and on. It's endless.
As part of the perfection path, anything other than perfect is terrible. Since perfection is not really possible for us humans, that leaves us with a lot of room to punish ourselves for our mistakes. This is not a recipe for joy. Just the opposite. It is a recipe for disaster—for pain, stress, and suffering.
This added suffering is so unnecessary. Just a tiny bit of acceptance makes a huge difference. For me, it was the idea that I could have a margin of error. Always thinking that there was no room for anything other than perfect, giving myself a margin of error was the first step towards admitting that I was human, fallible, and could err, then learn from my mistakes. It was the beginning of moving to the correction model.
The moment I gave myself a tiny margin of error, what followed on its own was self-compassion. I could forgive myself for not being perfect, for being human just like everyone else.
That did not stop me from striving for excellence as many people fear. In fact, it opened up the channels of creativity and freed my energy so I could do more.
Experiment with it yourself and see what happens. Please write and let me know.