Compassion to Oneself
I suspect that self-compassion is something most of us find difficult to do, or at the very least, we misunderstand what it is.
But compassion per se, starts towards us; without showing compassion to oneself, we can not be compassionate people- to others, to the planet, to animals, nor to Life itself. Because we do not understand what it is, because we do not practise it. How can you feel compassion to another if you treat your own self harshly? Self-aggression, over-ambition and extreme competitiveness are common instances where we treat ourselves unkindly, and some may even consider such traits normal or desirable.
Start by acknowledging the spark of Divinity within. You are Life manifest, so honour and respect it, as you would for all life. That means, for example, caring for the body by giving it enough exercise, rest and nutritious food; by respecting the equilibrium of mind and emotion through skilful means such as meditation, quiet times, and music. It means saying “no” to an abusive boss, or partner because it is an affront to Life itself. It is also about acknowledging your own sadness, and asking for help when it’s needed.
Putting on a brave face to the world as a capable, hard-working, high-achiever who still finds the time to help others, when all the while you are feeling broken and alone, is a act of self-aggression that is quite common in the modern world. Beware self-sacrifice and martyrdom.
Be kind to those aspects of yourself that you do not like and resolve to change them if you can. So if you have a tendency to be physically inactive, resolve to take more walks- you get the picture.
Get to know you, very well, inside-out and outside-in, so that there is no hiding place for those parts you do not like so much like greed, envy, desire. Acknowledging the shadow-self is also a compassionate act. We all have this, by the way. By not repressing it, by not hating it, it softens over time.
So, as you drink your Sunday morning cup of tea, please give a thought how to express loving compassion for yourself today.
With Love & Light,