How to Be Compassionate Toward Yourself

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Hi Spirit Junkies! The topic of compassion has been very present in my own life recently. How do we learn to be compassionate?

We talk about compassion a lot. We throw around the term, especially when we talk about compassion toward ourselves. Many of us know how to be compassionate toward others, and that is a beautiful thing — never stop making that a priority.

But what does it mean to be compassionate toward YOURSELF? How can you practice self-compassion in your own daily experiences?

I’ve always thought of compassion as something we give to someone else. But I hadn’t thought about showing myself compassion. I’ve been talking about it for years, but only now have I begun to fully understand it, integrate it in my life and incorporate it into my own practice.

Tweet it: Through the experience of self-compassion I can dissolve all fear and boundaries.

I’ve been working with a teacher who is showing me how to be compassionate toward myself every day. She’s shown me exactly what to do when I witness myself stuck in old stories or patterns, or if I’m triggered or wounded. It’s a very simple practice that has enormous impact. It immediately restores a sense of peace.

See how to treat yourself with compassion by watching this week’s video. And please share your comments and thoughts with me! This is a big topic and one that is relevant to every single one of us. Watch the video and then leave a note below. I hope this serves you. Be Compassionate.

Past Blogs That Relate To This Topic

“Understand through compassion or you will misunderstand the times.”

A Practice That Changed My Life

Do You Fall Off the Spiritual Wagon?

Read or leave comments


  1. Gabby, thank you so much…your book ..may cause Miracles….is guiding me every day. I will practice the idea of compassion, it imcompasses all you teach…thank you for all you do….it’s helping me clear my anxiety.

  2. I found this so useful today Gabby. I have begun to suffer from anxiety and just when I think I’ve got it under control, it comes screaming back in and sends me topsy turvy. I struggle with accepting where I am at and want to rush headlong into fixing it. That can be exhausting. I really appreciate this gentle tool towards acceptance, and showing deeper compassion towards oneself. It also provides a really beautiful way to shift the internal conversation quickly in times of need. I’ll definitely be giving this one a try! thank you xx


  3. I easily have compassion for others, it is a daily practice. However, I don’t know how to direct it inward. I heard what Gabby said and will work on it. I have a hard time praying for myself but constantly pray for others…Gratitudes for myself come easily and often, why can’t prayers and compassion?

  4. Hii gabby..yes I do talk alot to really if im hurt with smthin or if any situation has re occurred in my life I tell myself dat its coming again for me to learn a lesson..and untik I dont learn it it will keep occurring. .

  5. Hi Gabby! I’m so happy you brought up this topic. I really feel we need more of this in the spiritual community and HONOR our deep wounds to allow ourselves to naturally progress to a higher space.

    I found this practice a year ago while I was going through one of the most intense and disorienting experiences in my life and I realized that part of all the chaos I was experiencing was because I was unable to make peace with what was being triggered in me. I thought it was not ok. I fought back, I resisted it and it only grew and got worse until I had no other choice but to surrender and start loving myself for showing up, for making the bold changes I was making and living my life in a different way.

    I really like your vibe & energy! Thanks for bringing this up and I hope to see more from this. I think we really need spiritual leaders to show us the way to be present with what is present within us.

  6. This almost brought tears to my eyes! So I KNOW I needed to hear this today. Thank you so much Gabby for shining your light and sharing such a profound message. It’s a recurring message for me lately to speak to myself as if I were speaking to a child. Makes so much sense. And I suspect that the emotion I feel around this message is that of relief. Just let go (of the harsh criticisms). Love it and love you!

  7. I am going through a relationship crisis where I have been told its not me its him and all m self doubt resurfaced and I felt completely lost. But I have had beautiful moments when I know that it’s okay to feel this way. That I am perfect just the way I am and I truly do love myself. My compassion comes from deep within my heart and I know I am going to be okay. That it is normal to feel these emotions and everything will be alright. Somehow.

  8. I have been able to recognize and acknowledge the old wounds more readily, lately (sometimes it’s hard to do that!). I have begun to use more positive self-talk about what I want and need in my life to move past those old wounds and enjoy my life. Thanks for THIS guidance, on a foggy mild December morning!

  9. I so relate to this! Recently I’ve been trying to be the warrior as I am healing from fibro, but my health is still an issue I have to be compassionate to myself especially from the outside people think I’m fine and I’m hurting on some levels as I work toward acceptance !! Thx u for the remimder

  10. YES, Gaby…..COMPASSION for SELF is MY greatest hurdle. Such a great reminder today. Somehow, somewhere, I failed to learn that important lesson. I think there might be some EGO piece that needs undoing here.
    thank you.

  11. Whenever I feel nervouse or unbalanced or uncomfortable It is hard for me to just sit with it thats why I Turn to Food instead or stressing around… Todays Video helped me to not be too hard on myself. It is okay I will make it through. Thanks Natalie for being able and strong to Look at this and to heal from that.
    Thanks Gabby for that tool ????

  12. This is so timely, especially during the holidays, when seeing “button-pushing” relatives and stepping into toxic-but-familiar scenarios becomes part of the journey.

    You have a great point: These situations need not lower our energy. We can look at them as situations that show us how far we’ve come, a yardstick in our healing. Thank you for sharing this!

    And thank you for reminding me to look at myself with compassion. I can’t be a light for others until I know how to shine first.

    Sat Nam, Gabby. Thank you for all that you do.

  13. I love this. I will begin today to talk to myself with the love and compassion that I have when talking with my son. And I WILL stop being so hard on myself. Thank you, Gabby.

  14. Thank you for all you do. I read you’re book spirit junkie and I related a lot with my struggles growing up. My daughter over the summer when she was home from college saw it on my coffee table and just grabbed and asked me if she could borrow it. I said of course!!! You will love this author and spiritual teacher!! She read the book and loved it so thank you gabby for being a positive and shining role model to woman of all ages. Namaste.

  15. Dear Gabby, I always talked to myself (at least for a very long time) but not in the way you’re showing. I’m giving it a try, thank you so much. By the way, I saw some spirits surrounding you in the video. Very beautifull.

  16. The most powerful way that I have shown up for myself in this is through an inner child meditation. There I see myself as I was as a small child and I tell that beautiful little girl all the kind things that she needs to hear to feel happy and secure. In this way i am able to extend compassion to myself in the same way that I can feel it towards others.

  17. YAY! Hi Beauty! I love this! And I love to see you practicing and teaching this! This is how I’ve been healing my schizophrenia. I know I need to apply it to other areas of my life. Every time I have a hallucination or a sense of confusion, I just hug myself and tell myself I love her!

    Sending you Love, Light and Angels!
    May you be at peace and filled with joy!
    *Much Love*

  18. Hi Gabby, so your video was so powerful for me today. In divine right timing it entered my inbox as I had a trigger today from a recent hurtful relationship that ended three months ago and as I got home the first thing I was going to do was call a friend and mope about my trigger experience with this guy. But I decided to first watch your video and ALAS there was my answer. This event that happened today was merely a trigger, nothing more. And thanks to your video I now know how to deal with this trigger and others in my future. Thank you x

  19. OMG, once again the universe gives me a sign!! I worked with Kachina Myers for 7 years and the “stuff” that I worked through with her led me to a place where I was “cracked open”, as you often say Gabby, and I shortly thereafter began on my spiritual path!! However, I really needed to here this message today, as I really needed a reminder to remember to practice self compassion more deeply!! And the fact that you, one of my beloved teachers, learned this from one of my earlier teachers just makes me smile and feel the universe brings us the people we need to show up in our lives and thrive! Thanks Gabby. Much respect and much love

  20. After a somewhat dysfunctional Sunday night Christmas gathering with family I was excited for my Monday morning coffee with some amazing friends who are helping me to change old behavior patterns and live with trust and vitality. It has taken so much courage for me to reach out for these new relationships. They cancelled, my gas tank was on empty, its driving rain and 34 degrees outside, the gas pump didn’t work so extra time out it the wet and cold…and here I am deciding how I want to treat myself in this wounded, triggered place. Very timely video. Thank you.

  21. Perfect Timing! Something I Am learning as well in my life. I liked the inner dialog you have with yourself Gabrielle, (might borrow your words:) )Something that came to mind in my own life in regards to having compassion for others….. until I learn to have compassion for myself, I cannot have compassion for others, for I cannot share what I do not have. This might go along with what I see in others I see in myself. So through learning to finally have compassion for myself, I am learning to see the light in myself. Yes I have done some things that I am not proud of and have been judged by others as a result and that judgement hurts, yet doesn’t scratch the surface of my own self judgement/loathing. But now that I am learning that I am doing the best with what I got, as so is everyone else, I am seeing that they too are doing the best with what they got….they’re judgement seems to dissipate. Perhaps because I am finally starting to for-give myself and having some compassion for myself and seeing the light in myself… I am seeing the light in others ( no matter what they do or say). From here forward I Am going to do my best and not pick up those certain bags (learned programs/behavior) and never put on those tainted glasses again…..I’d rather see the light. Thanks for the email/video. And thanks Hay House too 🙂

  22. Gabrielle

    Thank you for spread beautiful messages to the people and doing it for free, I think is great.
    I think this technique is awesome for sure, sometimes I do it automatically, but I do think that if I actually learn to do it systematically it can help me very much in my day to day life. I have a few very sensitive days and just the fact to hear the advice and you made me feel better already, so Ill be practicing this today and hopefully more often.
    Thank you x

  23. Hello! Thank you so much for sharing this Gabby. I truly love all of your work. I am not yet able to recognize my “patterns” yet. How would you suggest I learn how to see them?

    Also, I cannot “feel” what I am “feeling” meaning, when I am angry I do not even know that I am angry, when I am sad, sometimes I think it is anger, but most important, I do not know what these feelings feel like as a sensation in my body and it has been tough to follow you because I cannot overcome these issues. I really want this but I do not know how to get there. Help?

  24. Mariska Van Gennep said, “By the way, I saw some spirits surrounding you in the video. Very beautifull.” there is a light behind you that goes away and comes back, after that comment I went back a few times to view it. It appears to only be the sun but when the light goes away it looks not like a window but a door. Can you tell us what this is Gabby??????

  25. Hi Gabby,

    First and foremost, thank you for all that you do. You are a beautiful spirit. Your talk about compassion serves as a confirmation for me in my life. I practice self-compassion when I realize that I get a negative vibration from someone who unconsciously rolls their eyes at me and has a negative attitude. When I feel myself out of balance, I take a moment to sit and be still for a few minutes and allow myself to feel the dislike or that wretched feeling in my gut that immediately starts to pull me down and I mentally say to self….. “I am loved unconditionally and I take full responsibility for my life. Look inside and realize that we are all one. I love you.” I apply this practice at the moment when I am aware of a negative situation that is about to trigger a negative reaction from and I am immediately calmed and centered.

    With love
    Georgia Balmir (New York)

  26. Thank you so so much for this Gabby. I really needed this right now. I feel like this time of year is so wonderful because it’s all about giving but I think I’ve been giving more than what I have. Lately I’ve felt selfish taking time and being compassionate for myself because my children and our community is in such need right now. But thanks to this video, I just cleared my entire schedule this morning and will focus on loving me for a few hours. Thank you for the permission I needed to do so xxx

  27. What a great way to show compassion to yourself. =) I love this idea and I know this would help me feel better when I’m being self critical or having a hard time dealing with difficult situations.

  28. Hi Gabby
    so appreciate this practice of ‘self compassion’ and in the presence of thoughts or patterns that maybe less than loving. From you video i shall remind myself more often of this and practice!
    thanks so much wendy

  29. WOW, I was just triggered this weekend by old wounds, old habits and fell in this funky place that I saw no hope. I realized the reason I feel stuck in still waters is not only about my outside circumstances but about old patterns I refuse to let go of because I’ve identified myself to them. This morning intuitively I wrote about what happened on a paper and chose to forgive myself and love myself exactly as I am. It’s crazy that this video appeared in the same time SYNCHRONICITY! Thank you Gabby, I feel the light xx

  30. Hi Gabby!

    Thank you for this post. I have been working on the self compassion thing for a while now! I have found that what helps me is to play a love song and sing it to myself! Instead of thinking about a boyfriend/friend/husband/ who ever, I simply picture myself and giving all that love back to me. It seems a little silly but it really works! I get super emotional and I can really tap into my inner self! XO Looking forward to your new book 🙂

    – Lauren

  31. I honestly never really knew what compassion was or how to define it for myself. This video gave me a perfect definiton! I need to be compassionate towards myself because if I don’t I completely block my ING and intuition from within. Thanks Gabby!

  32. Just wanted to thank you for your work… your voice & videos have become something I pour a cup of green tea & look forward to viewing. Your words about compassion struck me dead center as this is exactly what I am working on to help get over my anxiety as I start my passion project (I even put a quote of yours on my homepage;-) THANK YOU!!!!!

  33. Dear Gabby,
    How can you provide guidance to a girl who has an “apparent illness” since childhood to learning about that she can apply compassion for herself?
    What do you think about the babys that born with a illness?

    I say apparent illness because it does not exist in the mind of God. I think is a contract of the soul to learning in that situations.
    What do you think?

    Thank you so much!!!
    Tai from Venezuela. God bless you!!
    Here you have a sister connected with you through the Love of God.

  34. Gabby:

    This is excellent advice, especially for the holiday season.

    I invite you to check out the work of Kristin Neff on self-compassion by searching her name on or googling her books.

    I’ve gotten a lot of benefit from her book and her day of mindfulness at Spirit Rock.

    Thanks for your wonderful advice.


  35. Holy Toledo! This was awesome, just this morning I was beating myself up because old memories surfaced and I felt embarrassed and shameful and I was trying to start my day off on a positive note. I saw the email but chose not to view it right then and got busy with my day. It was late in the afternoon when I opened my email again and yours just got my attention and I watched it. I did what you said and I felt like a car had been lifted off of me! I see what you mean. It worked right away.

    Thank you so very much Gabby, the universe brought you right to me in my time of need or awakening!


  36. Honestly, this seems next to impossible. I am presently in the depths of grief after my husband of 8 years left me with two small children. I have spent my entire adult life in two long term relationships that ended in betrayal and abandonment. I think the lesson the universe is sending me is that I am meant to be alone. If I could just accept this maybe the pain would go away.

  37. Dear Gabby.
    With two little kids, i have not much time for me, myself and my thoughts. Is there a way, I can take my little kids (3 and 5 years) with me on my journey to spiritjunkie?
    DANKE for your note.
    Greetings from Switzerland.

  38. The comment about speaking to yourself as if you were speaking to your own child really spoke to me (lol no pun intended). I am young, but one of the things I most look forward to in life is having children. I also have some issues with my parents and how some the things they say I know I would never want to say to my children. But I realize it is only because they are wounded that they can speak this way. If I cannot learn to have compassion for myself and be kind to myself, how will I have kindness and compassion for my children? Or really have compassion for anyone for that matter? I know it’s not all about others, and sometimes we really do need to focus on ourselves. But when that gets hard, it is helpful to think of how your relationship with yourself directly affects those you love. And this creates a beautiful cycle of the light we see in others reflecting the light in ourselves. Thank you for this video. I really needed to hear this. Cannot wait for your new book, oh my gosh!!!!

    PS have you ever thought of writing a book on food/health/spiritual relationship with food. I know you have your Finally Full course. But you seem to get healthier each day (especially noticeable in your Instagram). Maybe a book coming up could be about the spirituality of food/weight and include some of your recipes!

    Much love,

  39. In this video you show a spectacular inner light, which tells it all!
    I will be compassionate with myself. Thanks for sharing

  40. Yes! I am so happy you are bringing this topic at the forefront. I’ve been on a quest for years to be more compassionate with myself and it’s something I’m still working on. I’ve also noticed that many smart and incredible women around me struggle with lack of compassion towards themselves. I don’t know why we are so harsh and demanding on ourselves. We feel like we are never good enough and this way of being is exhausting and it’s probably why so many women are burned out. Thank you for focusing on self compassion Gabby and can’t wait to see what you will be teaching us. I’ll be sharing with my friends and readers on the Red Fairy Project. xx

  41. Beautiful- I needed this. I’m able to be compassionate towards my Inner Child when the pain is intense enough that I have to speak to it. But I’ve just realised that I internally berate myself when the same old wound of abandonment comes up again and again in relation to female friendships. I’ve done sooooooo much work on this, and so my inner critic expects it to be over and done with by now! What I fail to realise is that I’m WILLING to feel the pain in order to NOT act out in behavioural patterns. I’m not sure this ‘abandonment’ wound will ever completely heal, but it does get softer and softer and I get triggered less and less…. xx

  42. Dear Gabby, thanks for sharing this video. I’m doing your Spirit Junkie Masterclass and did the EFT-module last week. I think this really resonates together; Although I feel….. I really love myself. It softens my mind about myself and my feelings. Thanks for all your beautiful work of sharing and inspiring.

  43. Gabby, you are a beautiful human being. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and Light with the world. I have learned so much from you. I read Spirit Junkie in two days and I began healing as I read. You are brilliant and enlightened and I am soo grateful for you. Blessings…

  44. Hi Gabby,

    Thank you so very much. As I am a very spiritual person, I never quite thought about being compassionate to ME! Maybe I meditate or just surround myself in love or embrace my inner child (shes so cute)but have never thought about being compassionate to myself. This will change as of today.
    Again Thank you.
    Many Blessings my dear.

  45. Dear Gabby,
    I have never thought about compassion this way. This is wunderfull and I think really a key instrument. Thank you so much for your help again. I recently signed up for the monthly and so happy with it. Love, Diana

  46. Hi Gabby,
    Perfect timing as ever. I have been in need of self-compassion for a while but not realised until now! 2016 will be a very different year for me and I am massively afraid to make the change.
    Happy Holidays! Sat nam, Catherine x

  47. Thanks for the reminder. While working on my personal growth, compassion for myself is not one of the things i keep in mind when trying to be mindful and staying centered. There are many things we need to be conscious of while working on growth. what helps me is watching weekly the many videos on line of my favs personal growth sites such as yours for the wealth of info i try to stay in tuned to. Keep up the good work!

  48. Gabby Bernstein did you forgive your past by seeing the bigger picture that it was necessary and have compassion for it to make peace with yourself?
    I find it still so hard because old patterns all lead back to what I learned in the past, but that’s not me. After 25 years I can recreate patterns but that only works when I made peace with the past. I realize that now when I am writing this. I coach too but am my own worst coach. I will do your exercise and heal my inner child and old wound by having compassion. I hope I finally find peace. Please give me strength!

  49. It is one of my top priorities right now to forgive myself and have compassion toward myself. It’s amazing when you start to focus on it that you realize just how many times during the day you think negative thoughts about yourself or beat yourself up about things, including things in the past that you can’t change. When I ask myself why I am not where I want to be in my life, I know that the way I’ve treated myself is the main reason. Most of us treat others much better than we treat ourselves if we’re honest about it. Thanks for the reminder and tips 🙂

  50. Just wanted to let you know this totally shifted my day today. I am struggling to find energy to do my job (I am chronically ill but need to keep working to support myself). Rather than yelling at myself internally for not having enough energy, not doing my job well enough, and not accomplishing enough; I was able to approach myself loving and say, “It’s okay. You’re doing a great job. I know this is hard but we are going to get through this together.” Being able to be my OWN source of love and support made all the difference. Thank you.

  51. Gabby,
    I am a 50 year old woman on the journey of recovery from addiction and alcoholism. I ran across Spirit junkie on audible and I cannot express to you how it has helped me open my heart and mind and life to Divine Spirit. Self compassion is a struggle for me, I think because of the fact the I was in active addiction for about 35 years…starting at age 15. I am learning who I am and praying and meditating for guidance on a daily basis. The practice of self love and compassion is a foreign concept to me but I know without a doubt that it is a part of the key to living a sober, whole-hearted life. Thank you for your wisdom. Blessed be.

    1. God bless you, Laura. Thank you for sharing this.
      Sending massive to you on your healing journey. You are not alone.

  52. Oh sweet teacher. Thank you for this video. I am learning so much and healing so many parts of my soul. I’ve been working to be more compassionate in every way. My trigger that if I’m compassionate, I won’t get my needs met is an old belief and I’m saying thank you everyday for what I’m learning. My partner is healing from a brain tumor and sometimes that healing isn’t linear. And my stepson is biologically 22years old, but developmentally about 14. WOW! This coupled with a sister who was a high needs child, throws me into a tail spin. BUT, since becoming a student of yours, I show up with my stuff, I heal it, I am strengthening my compassion muscle and growing stronger everyday. I am honored to be a Spirit Junkie and reconnect to the LOVE and TRUTH that is me. I am no longer separated from source. I am connected. <3

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