WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO HAVE COMPASSION FOR SELF?
As I reflect on the upcoming holidays, I like to reflect on the concept of Compassion for Self. I am struck by the constant barrage of negative energy and rhetoric in the media. I understand they are simply reporting on what is happening (albeit, sometimes with a desire to create a loop of the “hot” news), however, there are so many more stories of hope and compassion in our world today.
When I allow this 24/7 news cycle to permeate my thoughts, I tend to lose my compassionate perspective. I feel frustrated, a little angry (or a lot!), and lose sight of the blessings right in front of me.
COMPASSION IS ALL AROUND US IF WE LOOK FOR IT
Notice that when bad things happen, good people come together. The best of our world comes forward in compassion and caring for those who have been impacted. Why can’t we continue to exhibit those emotions, traits, and that level of caring all the time? It takes a lot less energy to exhibit kindness than it does to exhibit hate.
WHAT MAKES UP THE NEGATIVE ENERGY WE FEEL?
The energy it takes to call up the hate or negative treatment of others is not current energy. It is an energy that has been buried, brewing, and dying to come forward to offer you a release. When you have the opportunity to express it, it comes out with the full force of anger from suppressing these feelings for so long.
Have you ever seen a pressure cooker in action? Once it reaches the right temperature, the food gets cooked for a period of time. Once that is done, the pressure cooker is turned off (or taken off the heat source) and allowed to cool. Even then, the pressure is slowly released until you can safely open the pot. That is what happens to us! Unless we are allowed to deal with our feelings of anger, resentment, or even hate, they get suppressed until we are ready to blow!
Therefore, one of the most important elements of self-care is to allow your emotions to surface and deal with them. How hard is that? VERY HARD! Sitting with your negative emotions is an uncomfortable exercise in self-control. You have to stay with the feelings even though you might feel like you will jump out of your skin. It is only with this self-reckoning that you can feel free to experience true joy.
THE ONLY PERSON YOU CAN CONTROL IS YOU!
When I first learned this, I had a hard time putting this into practice. After all, I had spent my entire life blaming other people for my own feelings and/or shortcomings. I allowed other people to be responsible for my happiness, when it was inside of me all the time. I had to clear the things that stood in the way of my own self-acceptance and happiness. It was quite an excavation, but I did it. I began to OWN my happiness and the way I both received information and processed it. I kept what applied to me, did what I could to make positive change, and discarded the rest.
I love this Brene’ Brown video and it may really help you understand what I am trying to say about blame. Click here to view it:
THE ROLE OTHER PEOPLE PLAY
Shouldn’t you be the star of your own life? Why would you allow a supporting player, or better yet, an understudy, to take the spotlight away from you. After all, much of what you hear has to do with the opinions of others. When you hear these opinions, you often take them in and process them as fact. It would be like you withdrawing from the spotlight on stage, when you should be front and center. Why do you consistently give away your power to the opinions of others? Why do you feel their opinion is to be believed over either what you know about yourself already or what your intuition is telling you about any particular situation or feeling?
WHAT IS THE RIPPLE EFFECT?
By ripple effect, I am talking about the downstream implications of self-compassion. This is such an inspiring list, I hope you will take it to heart and try to practice “compassion for self”. Here are some ways that “compassion for self” has a ripple effect in your life:
- Learn to treat yourself with compassion and you will approach situations with other people in the same way.
- Let go of self-judgment, and you tend to judge others less harshly.
- Be kind to yourself and accept the fact that you are human, and you will allow others to be who they are as well.
- Deal with your emotions real-time, so you won’t “blow up” over minor issues with others.
- Realize that when others share opinions regarding you and how you live, it is about them and not you. Therefore, you can let it go and follow your own path.
- And finally, when you love yourself unconditionally, you create space in your heart to love others the same way.
I have lots of examples from my private and executive coaching work where the turnaround has happened for my clients. If this is a topic that interests you, or one in which you might benefit from connecting with me, you can click below to join my Worthy and Wise Women Facebook private community group. We are exploring all of these topics and more and I’d love to have you join us!
I’m Tina Meilleur and a Leadership and Business Mentor, author and speaker. You can learn more about my story here. I am also the founder of Design Your Success and the Academy for Business Success. My mission is helping high achievers match their desires, skills and experiences with success on their terms. My “It’s My Turn” program and CRAVE™ process are systematic approaches for making simple “tweaks” or orchestrating a total reinvention. I am the author of Your Next Chapter: Five Steps to Creating the Life of Your Dreams to help others build anything they want into their life. I have a CPA designation in the State of Louisiana and received my MBA from Tulane University in their Executive MBA program. I’m a highly sought-after mentor, life coach, female CEO facilitator, business strategist/coach, and speaker. You can reach out to me at Tina@DesignYourSuccess.com.