I've always loved collecting quotes. Here are 40 related to self-compassion that I've discovered over the years to use during Daring Discoveries' Annual Self-Compassion Saturday. And if you are ready to practice self-compassion for 40 days, grab your copy of Self-Compassion Stories.
“Self-compassion is like a muscle. The more we practice flexing it, especially when life doesn’t go exactly according to plan (a frequent scenario for most of us), the stronger and more resilient our compassion muscle becomes.”
- Sharon Salzberg
“A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life.”
“The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that there was something wrong with me. I quit spending my life trying to control myself and began to trust myself. We only control what we don’t trust. We can either control ourselves or love ourselves, but we can’t do both.”
-Glennon Doyle, Untamed
“The capacity for compassion and response grows slowly from cultivation and practice.”
-Stephanie Kaza, The Attentive Heart
“You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”
“We don’t make lasting, constructive changes in our lives because of shame or self-loathing. We finally decide we were made for something more. This might come to us as a very small sense of knowing, but it’s a change in perspective, and it is the soil for new life.”
– Leeana Tankersley
“Nothing will work unless you do.”
“Where we think we need more self-discipline, we usually need more self-love.”
“Loving yourself is having reverence ultimately for life. …It’s a deep gratitude for the life you have.”
“When we truly care for ourselves, it becomes possible to care far more profoundly about other people. The more alert and sensitive we are to our own needs, the more loving and generous we can be toward others.”
“Wherever we’re trying to go, we do not bully ourselves there. We believe ourselves there.”
“No amount of self-improvement can make up for any lack of self-acceptance.”
“True love of self is not narcissistic, nor is it even self-centered. Those traits are nothing but the contrived window-dressing of self-hate. True love of self is simple acceptance. Without it, you can never be happy, nor even fully healthy. Without it, you can never love others.”
-Dharma Singh Khalsa M.D. and Cameron Stauth
“I learned…that sometimes there is just very little in life we can control. But one thing we can always control is how we treat ourselves. And that one thing can change everything.”
“You know quite well, deep within you,
that there is only a single magic,
a single power,
a single salvation…
and that is called loving.”
“Perfectionism is self-abuse of the highest order.”
-Anne Wilson Schaef
“What is happening in your innermost self is worthy of your entire love; somehow you must find a way to work at it.”
-Rainer Maria Rilke
“How much we know and understand ourselves is critically important, but there is something that is even more essential to living a wholehearted life: loving ourselves."
“Self-love is learning how to listen to your own heart so you can understand someone else’s.”
“Self-awareness and self-love matter. Who we are is how we lead.”
" While you might think it's a trick, having affection for one's goofy, crabby, annoying, lovely self is home. This has been my meager salvation.”
“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.”
“The way you treat your own heart is the way you will end up treating everyone else’s.”
“Compassion for others begins with kindness to ourselves.”
“A mind committed to compassion is like an overflowing reservoir – a constant source of energy, determination and kindness.”
-The Dalai Lama
“Compassion links us to others. We share a common humanity with a common wish to be happy, free from suffering and to live with grace.”
– Marianne Williamson
“I am… I am includes the fact that I do beautiful things and I do crappy things, and I am.”
-Ram Dass, Polishing the Mirror
“You do not have to be good./ You do not have to walk on your knees/ for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting./ You only have to let the soft animal of your body/ love what it loves.”
– Mary Oliver
“If you are unkind to yourself, you will be unkind to others. And if you are negligent of yourself, you will be that to others. Only by feeling compassion for yourself can you feel compassion for others. If you cannot love yourself you cannot love others, and you cannot stand to see others loved. If you cannot treat your own self kindly, you will resent that treatment when you see it in anyone else. If you cannot love yourself, loving others becomes a very painful endeavor with only occasional moments of comfort. In other words, loving others, or how you treat yourself, is your own dose of your own medicine, that you really give to others at the same time.”
–Gary Zukav, The Seat of the Soul
“We can still be crazy after all these years. We can still be angry after all these years. We can still be timid or jealous or full of feelings of unworthiness. The point is... not to try to throw ourselves away and become something better. It's about befriending who we already are."
“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.”
"It's okay to be a compassionate mess."
“In a world, a mind, a body at war, no quality active or passive is more healing than essential compassion.”
“I love myself. The quietest. Simplest. Most powerful. Revolution. Ever.”
“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
If we take good care of ourselves, we help everyone. We stop being a source of suffering to the world, and we become a reservoir of joy and freshness."
~ Thich Nhat Hanh, How to Love
“Kind words are like honey, sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”
“When we struggle, we give ourselves compassion not to feel better, but because we feel bad."
-Kristin Neff & Christopher Germer
“And also, I came to see that there are angels in our lives who take many forms: sometimes in the guise of a caretaker, sometimes a compassionate friend or family member. But always, we will be our own best friend when we care about what we say to ourselves in our minds and use our language to open the door to new possibilities and move past our anger and fears.”
-Guruatma Khalsa & Jeannette Pavandev Darcy, Stop & Feel it
“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
Lee Ann Hilbrich (she/her) is an author of three books, a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator of Brené Brown's work, a Qi Gong and Yoga Teacher, and a SoulCollage® Facilitator. She is also certified in Equine-Facilitated Learning. Learning.
Lee Ann Hilbrich, MA, LPC, CDWF, RYT 200
Daring Discoveries abides by the Brené Brown Education and Research Group's Belonging Statement (Click Here to View) and is committed to inclusivity, equity, diversity, and belonging.