The first time, I became aware of my ability to love myself through compassion, was in 2008 when I had just come home from teeth surgery. I looked myself in the mirror and it occurred to me, how much I've been through. Everything changed after that.
I started practising mindfulness and doing things more softly and slower, to show myself care. This I understood, was needed also not only post surgery, but generally speaking. Self-compassion is different from self-pity. The latter puts us into a state of victimhood, victim mentality, and we get stuck in the hurt. Self-compassion on the other hand, is to realize how hurt we've been and take charge with means of protection, as well as fostering a more lax approach to our inner self-critic. We simply need to feel compassion for ourselves just as we do with others.
In which areas do you need to practice self-compassion? Look yourself in the mirror without judgement and think of all the things your body has been through. Then you can appreciate it more!