What is self-compassion? Self-compassion can be defined as learning to treat yourself the way you would treat a good friend when they suffer, fall short or fail in some way. Mindful Self-Compassion combines the skills of mindfulness & self-compassion, providing a powerful tool for emotional resilience.
Having compassion for yourself is really no different than having compassion for others. Think about what the experience of compassion feels like. First, to have compassion for others you must notice that they are suffering. If you ignore that homeless person on the street, you can’t feel compassion for how difficult his or her life may be. Second, compassion involves feeling moved by others’ suffering so that your heart responds to their pain (the word compassion literally means to “suffer with”). When this occurs, you feel warmth, caring, & the desire to help the suffering person in some way. Having compassion also means that you offer understanding & kindness to others when they fail or make mistakes, rather than judging them harshly. Finally, when you feel compassion for another (rather than mere pity), it means that you realize that suffering, failure, & imperfection is part of the shared human experience. “Just like me…”
Instead of just ignoring your pain with a “stiff upper lip” mentality, you stop to tell yourself “this is really difficult right now… How can I comfort & care for myself in this moment? Instead of mercilessly judging & criticizing yourself for various inadequacies or shortcomings, self-compassion means you are kind & understanding when confronted with personal failings – after all, who ever said you were supposed to be perfect??? You may try to change in ways that allow you to be more healthy & happy, but this is done because you care about yourself, not because you are worthless or unacceptable as you are. Perhaps most importantly, having compassion for yourself means that you honor & accept your humanness. Things will not always go the way you want them to. You will encounter frustrations, losses will occur, you will make mistakes, bump up against your limitations, fall short of your ideals. This is the human condition, a reality shared by all of us!
The more you open your heart to this reality instead of constantly fighting against it, the more you will be able to feel compassion for yourself & all your fellow humans in the experience of life.
I hope you enjoy this week’s Mindful Monday Minute. If you haven’t joined our Facebook group yet, I encourage you to. Experience New & Full Moon circles twice a month, group oracle readings, workshops & events to help along your journey, most of all, make new friends & connect with other like-minded spirits.
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Have an amazing week my friend.
Love & light,