On Self-Compassion


Radical Self-Compassion is a part of how we will heal the world

Let me explain:  A few weeks ago I was home alone for five days with my kids while my husband travelled.  Three of the five days were supposed to be school days but of course, my son came down sick and stayed home for two days straight.  So I had two full days of sick duty, then a weekend full of activities and appointments to manage and for the most part I truly kept my cool.  I actually felt almost no resistance or irritation for the whole time.  Go, Mom!

But.  What did I focus on?  You can bet it wasn't on congratulating myself or honoring myself for all of the overtime I'd put in on the momfront.  Nope.  I focused on the fact that because my son was home from school I missed one workout at the gym.  I missed one workout.  Focusing on that missed workout opened up the can of worms around all my body-related limiting beliefs -- I'm going to gain a ton of weight, people won't want to take my yoga classes anymore, I'm going to lose everyone I hold dear and essentially the world is going to fall apart because I missed one workout.   The more I beat myself up over it the crankier I felt.  And, as I got cranky my kids got cranky and the weekend that was going so well was suddenly spiraling downwards faster than I could stop it.  

Maybe you've had a similar experience.  Have you ever focused on that one tiny negative thing in the sea of positives?  Or have you ever been struggling and then gone the extra mile to add in self judgement?  If so, then you exactly how I felt.

Wisdom traditions like yoga, definitely Ashaya Yoga, and even my coaching teacher Martha Beck PhD. point to another way of coping:

Radical Self-Compassion

If you want to practice RSC look inside and find the hurting place.  Instead of beating it up further, wrap it with love.  Completely smother that part with love and acceptance.  Compassion will come growing up proportionately from the love you give yourself.  This compassion will help you flip from pain into the place of delight and curiosity that are naturally a part of who you are when you are connected to Universal Energy.  Because compassion, love and acceptance are the only feeling the Universe can possibly have for you.

The healing the world part comes in here, because your capacity to grow your compassion for yourself in all your darkness, struggle, and woundedness is the capacity you will have for compassion for others.   When you are coming from a compassionate place inside at the very least you won't be spreading a bad mood.  But at the highest your compassion could offer healing to someone else.  And then that healed person goes out and heals another ... it is a chain reaction that begins when you start to love yourself.  

And before you know it, the world is a better place.