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Self Compassion versus Self Esteem - Loving Oneself

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I think the how self compassion appears to be healthier than self esteem to be rather neat from Are We Done Fighting?'s section on Inner Peace!

One of the downsides of self-esteem is how it can lead to isolation:

Most people, therefore, feel compelled to create what psychologists call a “self-enhancement bias” – puffing ourselves up and putting others down so that we can feel superior in comparison. However, this constant need to feel better than our fellow human beings leads to a sense of isolation and separation.

A major difference between self compassion vs self esteem is that:

Self-esteem refers to our sense of self-worth, perceived value, or how much we like ourselves....

Self-compassion is not based on self-evaluations. People feel compassion for themselves because all human beings deserve compassion and understanding, not because they possess some particular set of traits.

Three primary components of self compassion include self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness.


The Space Between Self-Esteem and Self Compassion: Kristin Neff at TEDxCentennialParkWomen

From the video transcript:
"I love spreading the good word about self-compassion. I've devoted the last ten years of my research career to studying the mental health benefits of self-compassion, and more recently I've been working on developing interventions to help people learn to be more compassionate to themselves in their lives. And the reason I'm so passionate about self-compassion is because I have really seen its power in my own life. I first learned about self-compassion in 1997, when I was finishing up my PhD at UC Berkeley. I was going through a really hard time. I had just gotten out of a very messy divorce with feeling of a lot of shame and self-judgment. I was feeling a lot of stress. Would I finish my PhD? And if I did, would I get a job? So, I thought it would be a good time to learn how to practice meditation. So I signed up with a local Buddhist meditation group. And the very first evening, the very first course, the woman leading the group talked about the importance of compassion, not only for others, but also for ourselves, the importance of including ourselves in the circle of compassion, of treating ourselves with the same kindness, care, and concern that we treat a good friend. And it was like a light bulb went off over my head at that moment. I realized - well, first I thought, what? You're allowed to be nice yourself, and this is being encouraged? But I realized, it was exactly what I needed in that difficult moment in my life. So really, from that day forward, I can say I intentionally tried to be more compassionate to myself, and it made a huge difference almost immediately."

How can one learn more self-compassion for oneself? How does one practice self-compassion? How does self compassion feel different than self esteem?
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Letting go has been my experience.  Letting go of long held beliefs and thoughts of the past, it only exists in the mind.  It's not reality.  The ego is the great trickster, keeping these thoughts alive, therefore keeping our emotions alive.  And our reactions to the world around us are the outward signs of our emotions.  Nothing can be solved with this frame of mind.

This comes through self examination.  It is very strenuous and doesn't come to you like a magic pill will, it takes time.  Then you start realize everything, everyone is me.

You see that the polarities of good and bad, black and white, all go together, as they must. Yin and Yang are a must. This applies to everything, no exceptions.

When you find compassion for your self, you find it for everything else in the world.  Even things you once may have deemed as atrocious, you find compassion for.  This is the glue that holds all of the universe together.  The aether, so to speak.
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I think for some people this comes easier than for others.

I have never struggled with this issue at all. For instance, I have never drank, ever touched drugs...even pot, or smoked, yet I do a lot of charity work for those addicted to drugs and alcohol. I have been asked why is that so. And it is because I know such things can get a grip on a person so easily.

When I was a kid they had advertisement on television that asked a boy what he wanted to be when he got older, and he said a cop. The little girl said she wanted to be a nurse, and then they showed a 20-something running, and a police officer grabbing the man, and it said, "no one ever said they wanted to be an addict."

That advertisement kept me from ever trying drugs because it is so true. BUT the reverse is also true. If so many people become addicts, yet they never intended to, how easy it must be to get caught up in them? So who am I to say, "oh I would never do that?" Because, well...apparently it would be pretty easy. I am thus thankful I have not been caught up in that stuff, but I do not look down my nose at others because I haven't, but rather want to reach out and help them get out of the mess they have found themselves in.

What is disgusting for me is, if a big building was on fire, and I was safely on the outside, I would not place my hands in my hip pockets and gloat, "Boy am I glad I am not inside that burning building like all those people."


Just about everyone would run to the exit and scream, "This is the way out?" They would not rush headlong into the fire and perish themselves, but they would want people to know the way out.

My question is, why do so many people gloat about other people's dire circumstances and never tell them they have a way out? Telling them is not being a hero, it is being human.
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It is interesting to see different ways to organize ideas.

I see self esteem to be an issue between not enough to two much.

And I pair compassion with empathy.  I do not want that much empathy if it means to feel the same, because then how do you give support? Compassion keeps the limits clear.

Now can I apply both compassion and empathy to Self"? Great, I find self compassion very possible, and "self-empathy" sounds so strange and impossible. Or I would say that of course we feel what we feel! So this is natural and self-compassion has to be named because it does not comes alone...

I  will definitely practice this on purpose!
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