Debra Jones Nov 2016
Most of us know what it feels like when we have compassion for someone. We feel kindness, caring and a willingness to help them. For many, this is a natural gift, available and offered to all.
In my healing practice, I've noticed a common issue - an imbalance in the energy of giving and receiving. This begs the question "Why is this such a common state?"
I have a theory: Perhaps we were never taught SELF-COMPASSION?We're taught COMPASSION - to be kind to others, "Don't hurt Johnny - be kind to him!" We're taught that it's more socially acceptable to stifle any anger or discomfort we feel and make sure the other person is comfortable instead. How compassionate - kind and caring - to the SELF is that?
Now I'm not suggesting that we stop having compassion for others, but I AM suggesting we need to develop a way to bring these energies into balance. We can do this easily in the healing room, but that doesn't help us daily. We need to add some tools to our tool belt so we have them when we need them.
Too often, our inner judge tells us we're selfish to think of ourselves. Contrary to common belief - self-compassion is NOT selfish because everyone benefits. If you're filled with what YOU need, you'll have MORE to share with others. Selfish is usually meant to be an insult; someone selfish goes beyond just taking care of themselves and actively takes from others. The opposite of selfish is self-sacrificing, which means, 'giving everything to others and sacrificing your own needs.'
Here's an interesting thought - If sacrificing my interests for another’s sake makes me feel good about myself, is my so-called 'act of kindness' selfish at its core? Hmm!
Sheesh! NOW what’s the right thing to do?
Well, let’s look at the facts: If, on an energetic healing level, our bodies appear out of balance when we lack self-compassion, and opening to self-compassion brings it back into balance, the answer is simple: Practice Self-Compassion!
Self-compassion creates a caring space within you that is free of judgment—a place that sees your hurt and your failures and softens to allow those experiences with kindness and caring.
This breaks the cycle of pain from self-judgement and allows you to become mindful of it’s harmful effects. Just notice what is happening and choose not to judge it or push it away. Remember: self-compassion is about being with your suffering in a kind, loving way, not about making suffering disappear.
Place your hands where you intuitively feel the pain. If you don’t feel it, wrap your arms around yourself in a warm, loving hug. Soothe the pain. Sometimes emotions will bubble up to the surface. Allow them to wash over you as waves of self-compassion. Breathe it through. Don’t hold onto it. Release any tension in your body. Let it go.
Say something kind and compassionate to yourself. Talk to yourself just as you would to a best friend who is suffering. Give yourself some loving kindness. Offer yourself the support you need.
Remember: Beating yourself up won’t help you be kinder to others. Our compassion for others will be greater when we can show compassion to ourselves.