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How to Nurture Self-Compassion to Heal from Trauma


Discovering Love and Happiness after Healing from Trauma

Are you looking for love but struggling to heal from trauma in your past? Learning how to have self-compassion for yourself will help free you from your pain and struggle. Maybe you are in an unhealthy relationship or are coping with feelings of loneliness and isolation. Whatever your situation, you are not alone. It's a difficult road to navigate but one that's worth traveling. And if you're like me, you've probably experienced some sort of past trauma, whether it be big t trauma or small t trauma, that makes it difficult to believe you deserve love and happiness.

I know firsthand how challenging this journey can be, as I spent years in an unhealthy relationship before embarking on my path to healing from trauma and self-love. It may sound cliché, but loving yourself first is where the journey begins if you want to attract a healthy relationship. Every step I took toward embracing my own self-worth and finding inner healing was a testament to the resilience within us all.

As a personal growth coach for women, I've found that there are mindset shifts that can help you find love and happiness. It took me years to get to a place where I left the past behind me for the most part, let go of the resentment and saw the lessons in my pain. It is with this self-compassionate mindset where all healing from trauma begins.

Here are 3 tips that have helped me and my clients on our journeys to attract healthy relationships:

Cultivate self-compassion

Mindset shifts for finding love and happiness begin with cultivating a positive self-image and practicing self-compassion. Dr. Kristin Neff, a pioneer in the field of self-compassion, conducted a controlled trial of the Mindful and Self-Compassion Program and found that individuals who practiced self-compassion exhibited better psychological well-being compared to those who did not.

Practicing self-compassion involves treating ourselves with the same kindness, concern, and support we would offer a close friend. By cultivating self-compassion, we can learn to forgive ourselves for past mistakes, let go of negative self-talk, and embrace a more positive and loving relationship with ourselves.

When we treat ourselves with care and understanding, rather than attacking ourselves for perceived shortcomings, we foster resilience, emotional balance, and inner peace, allowing for greater healing from trauma to occur. This is what self-compassion is all about.

Remember that we are all human and imperfect. So consider taking specific actions, such as engaging in mindfulness practices or seeking support from loved ones, or a professional to cultivate self-compassion and improve your overall physical, emotional, and spiritual health.

Set Healthy Boundaries and Communicate Your Needs

You are the gatekeeper to your thoughts, feelings, values, desires and deal-breakers. Setting healthy personal boundaries starts with self-awareness. It's about knowing what you want and need for yourself and in a relationship. It's being upfront about it and expressing your feelings openly and respectfully. Think of it like being the bouncer at your own personal nightclub. You get to decide who gets in and who gets kicked to the curb. So, grab your velvet rope and get ready to start taking control of the relationships in your life.

When it comes to boundaries, the phrase "good fences make good neighbors" rings true - except instead of neighbors, we're talking about your own mental well-being. Establishing healthy personal boundaries can do wonders for your self-esteem and stress levels. Think of it as a protective shield around your psyche, deflecting unwanted influences and protecting your own needs and desires. ​ Again, this too is another exercise in self-compassion.

Learning to say no and prioritize your needs is important ahead of even getting into a relationship. I believe that saying "no" is the biggest form of self-life there is!

Try it out the next time you find yourself overcommitting or sacrificing your own well-being for the sake of others. Setting healthy boundaries and valuing your own needs not only empowers you but also sets the tone for the kind of respect and care you deserve in any relationship - romantic or otherwise.

It's easy to get caught up in the needs and expectations of others, but taking care of yourself first is essential. When you are honest about what you want and need for yourself, you are more likely going to attract partners who align with those values and goals. This can lead to a more authentic and fulfilling relationship. ​ ​ By setting and enforcing healthy boundaries, you create a safe space for yourself and reduce stress and anxiety levels. You are telling yourself and others that your needs, values, and well-being matter. This is a powerful form of self-love because it shows that you respect and have self-compassion for yourself enough to prioritize your own needs.

Letting Go of the Past to Heal from Trauma

​ Holding onto past hurts and resentments only weighs us down and makes it difficult to move forward. So letting go of the past, (notice I didn't say forgetting it) is an essential step towards healing from trauma and finding love. It's not always easy, but it's necessary for our own peace of mind.

So what do I mean by this? ​ By letting go of the past, we create space for new experiences and relationships to come into our lives. When we release past hurts and resentments, we become more open to new opportunities without the baggage of past experiences weighing us down.

Holding onto past hurts and resentments can prevent us from fully living in the present moment and can even impact our future relationships. By carrying the weight of the past, we inadvertently build walls that block the potential for new connections to flourish. Releasing this burden allows us to heal from trauma by approaching each day with a lighter heart and an open spirit, ready to embrace the beauty of the present and the promise of what's to come.

When we hold onto negative experiences, it can cause us to become stuck in a cycle of negativity and prevent us from seeing the potential for positive experiences in the future. Letting go of the past does not mean forgetting it entirely, but rather it involves acknowledging the experience, processing any emotions that come up, and then releasing it.

To begin the process of letting go, one exercise that can be helpful is writing a letter to the person or people who have hurt us. This self-compassion exercise is not about sending the letter but rather about getting our feelings out and releasing them. It's a way to acknowledge and process our emotions, which can be a significant step towards healing from trauma. Another essential exercise is forgiveness, not for the other person's sake, but for our own peace of mind. Forgiveness is a form of self-compassion, which can be challenging for many of us to practice. Research on Forgiveness, Health, and Well-Being suggests that forgiveness can have significant benefits for mental and physical health. The study found that people who practiced forgiveness reported lower levels of depression, anxiety, and hostility, as well as lower blood pressure and heart rate. By forgiving, we release the negative emotions and beliefs that are holding us back.

Self-compassion is not a destination; it's a journey that brings us closer to ourselves and others with each loving step. ~ Kristin Neff

Self-Compassion is the key to Heal from Trauma

Remember that finding love and healing from trauma is a journey, and every step towards self-love and self-compassion is a valuable one that will move you closer to finding the one. Just like any other skill, the practice of self-compassion requires consistent effort and patience to develop. So, when you feel like giving up or feel discouraged, take a moment to remind yourself that progress takes time and that every small step counts. ​ Healing is not a linear process, and there will be bumps along the way. By cultivating more love and worthiness for yourself, you are not only improving your own well-being but also positively impacting those around you.

With time, patience, and a growth mindset, you will heal from trauma, and find the love and happiness you deserve. Be gentle with yourself and acknowledge your progress, no matter how small. Your journey towards healing from trauma and love is a gift to yourself and to the world, so keep moving forward with courage and kindness.

If you are in your own journey of finding love after healing after experiencing some form of trauma, remember that every step you take toward healing is an affirmation of your strength and capacity for growth. Healing not only brings you closer to your own well-being but also prepares you for the authentic, fulfilling love that you deserve.

Finding Love is Possible

As the saying goes; We accept the love we think we deserve, conveys the concept that our self-perception and sense of worth profoundly shapes the type of love and relationships we permit in our lives. It implies that our self-esteem influences our choices, causing us to embrace relationships that align with our perceived level of worthiness, even if they are detrimental. If our self-esteem is low, we may settle for inadequate or disrespectful love.

Conversely, if we value ourselves and believe we merit genuine respect and affection, we are more inclined to seek and accept healthier relationships. This quote emphasizes the importance of recognizing our self-worth and setting boundaries to foster fulfilling and respectful connections - a huge step forward in our self-compassion journey.

So, try and remember this above all else as you continue to nurture your own journey toward healing. You'll discover that self-compassion is key; the scars of the past do not define you; they are simply stepping stones guiding you toward a love that is truly transformative and life-affirming. Embrace the present, look forward to the future, and hold onto the promise that love and healing, along with self-compassion, are intertwined in a journey uniquely yours.

Vanessa Marie

Vanessa Marie North 

Transformational Life Coach

Hamilton life coach
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