“You stupid, stupid idiot. It’s not ok to make mistakes like that. You should be better at this.”
That scolding was served with venom in a present-day Australian school and for many students and teachers alike, vile self talk of this nature is an uncontrolled epidemic.
In a therapy session with a graduate psychologist, he asked me what would it look like if I showed compassion to myself. I was dumbstruck, flabbergasted, flummoxed. I could not think of a single thought or endeavour which could possibly meet that ridiculous specification. I racked the foreign frontiers of my brain looking for a skerrick of an idea which might answer my therapist’s question, but still nothing.