Self compassion: To treat yourself with love and patience. To not condemn yourself. To treat yourself as you would a very beloved child. People make mistakes, everyone does. It doesn’t help to be angry at yourself, it doesn’t help to denigrate your self. How do you think is the best way to teach someone? By yelling and screaming at them, basic training style? Or by being patient and benevolent towards them? The whole point of basic training in the army is to lose your sense of self. You no longer exist, only a subordinate, obedient, robot, who, when the sergeant says “Jump!” only says “How high sir?” You don’t question anything, you just do as you are told. This may be, tragically, how things have to be in the Armed Forces, but it is not the way civilian life is lived. We are all individuals, and we celebrate that individuality. People aren’t brow beaten or worse physically beaten to learn something. Also, if someone makes a mistake, there is no corporal punishment. Ideally, they would be told that everyone makes mistakes and not to worry. If we believe that that is how a person is to be treated, with compassion, patience and love, if we believe that, then why don’t we believe that we also deserve this treatment. I have a cat and she is going to be 20 years old in June! I would NEVER dream of yelling at her. I treat her with the utmost love and affection. I cherish her because she is my sweetest little one and now because I don’t know how much longer she will be here. In short, I absolutely adore this kitty of mine. Now do I deserve the same treatment from me as my cat gets? Or do I call myself stupid when I make a mistake and get really angry at myself?
Truthfully, I think I am always too easy on myself and other people (is there something as too easy?) Maybe that’s why I’m not as disciplined as I should be. Wait, how much should I be? Uh oh, here I go “shoulding” on myself haha.
But seriously, wouldn’t it be great if we could hold ourselves in a loving embrace, figuratively speaking, and treat ourselves with warm compassion instead of anger, dislike and even self hatred? Do you think you hack a plant to pieces in a rage, that it would grow and flower for you? Umm no. What if you treated a plant like a beloved being, watering, pruning, even talking to it. Would it grow and bloom in this instance? Plants are living beings like we are. If love and compassion and care makes them flourish, what would it do for us?
Below is from the following website I found: http://www.mindfulselfcompassion.org/ They have workshops all over the country about Mindful Self Compassion. They also have books they recommend. Links below.
Mindful self-compassion is the foundation of emotional healing—being aware (mindfulness) in the present moment when we’re struggling with feelings of inadequacy, despair, confusion, and other forms of stress and responding with kindness and understanding (self-compassion). Mindful self-compassion also means holding difficult emotions—fear, anger, sadness, shame and self-doubt—and ourselves, in loving awareness, leading to greater ease and well-being in our daily lives.
***Mindful self-compassion can be learned by anyone. It’s the practice of repeatedly evoking good will toward ourselves especially when we’re suffering—cultivating the same desire that all living beings have to live happily and free from suffering. And as the Dalai Lama says, self-compassion is the first step toward compassion for others.*** Love this!
Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself: http://www.amazon.com/Self-Compassion-Judging-Yourself-Embrace-Being/dp/0061733512/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1288576732&sr=1-6
The Mindful Path to Self Compassion: http://www.guilford.com/books/The-Mindful-Path-to-Self-Compassion/Christopher-Germer/9781593859756