Can we show the same level of compassion to ourselves, as we do to those around us? It is so easy to feel moved by another person’s story and act upon it than to be moved by your own story. We all have the strength within us to overcome the tragedies that befall us. Yet very rarely do we ever step aside and look at ourselves as a person needing our own compassion. If we were to just step back and observe ourselves as a “person” going through the motions of pull and push, we would see the many layers of self-conditioning working on us. Layers that inform us that it is not alright to feel sorry for ourselves. That it is a sign of weakness to not stand up against stress. Yet nature teaches us otherwise. We all are not built up to be an oak tree. The reeds do bend when the wind is strong and they survive because of their flexibility in going with the flow of life
Our instinctive nature is that of kindness. Compassion is essential to humanity. We have a biological need to be cared for and to care for others. Yet it is not easy to love ourselves. We are more inclined towards identifying our shortcomings than towards searching for our good qualities. The “shoulds” overpower our lives. We drown ourselves in the things we should do for others.
I find that changing the should to a could suddenly changes the way we go about things. This is one of the things I learned in a Louise Hay workshop. Whenever an “I should do….” comes to mind all I need to do is make the simple shift to “I could do….. but I choose not to.” The could gives me options but the should just gives me a command. I can show more compassion to myself when I make the mental shift from should to could. I give myself a choice.
The heart is the seat of compassion – for ourselves and for others. Indulging in a dessert or a spa is a form of self-care that we all indulge in. Yet how many of us really learn to love ourselves?
To commit to ourselves, to respect and honor who we are, and what we choose to do, is an act of compassion towards ourselves. Many of us cannot sustain this long enough. If the purpose of life is to live a happy life then do we have the kindness in us to allow ourselves to seek happiness. Compassion gives us the inner strength and self-confidence to handle stress. It is the key to a calmer state of mind. A calm mind makes better choices for ourselves. Choices that bring us satisfaction and peace of mind – all if just for today we can show ourselves a little kindness.