How to Practice Self-Compassion Without Feeling Selfish
For God knows it is good to give;
We may not have so long to live,
So if we can,
Let’s do each day a kindly deed,
And stretch a hand to those in need,
Bird, beast or man.
– Robert William Service.
We have often grown up with the idea that compassion is what we ought to serve and show towards others in our life.
So, if you were to ever think that you would too like to be cared for, cherished and respected the same way that you treat others, you would be puzzled.
You would feel it is not the right thing to do.
Because you have been pre programmed since childhood, you must put others’ needs and wishes first, be at their service. Your own feelings and emotions come last in this hierarchical base.
But this is why you are here to change that pattern.
By practicing self-compassion you will accept that there are some weak points that you would need to work upon, you will thus try to be a more progressive version of yourself.
When you work towards growing to be a more healthier and healed version of yourself, you allow yourself to fully feel loved and appreciated.
Your own compassion will aid you into this beautiful journey of Self compassion :
When you say you feel compassion towards others, that means you can fully feel what all hardships they would have undergone or seen in life. And that you are there by their side to lessen this suffering by providing your unconditional support to them. By showing them respect and acceptance you show your compassion to them.
This is exactly what you need to do to yourself too.
Look within, you are worthy too.
Suppose, your wife comes to you sharing her sadness. She has lost her job, due to some impulsive mistake from the organization.
So what is it that you are more likely to do?
Simple, you are first going to hug her tight, tell her that it’s okay, no biggie, jobs come and go, she will find something more amazing in the future. You are likely to put on your shoes and take her for her favourite dinner.
Then my question to you is, why is it that when you face a similar situation like this, you fail to acknowledge all of you previous hard work? And be there by your own side?
Why is it that for your trivial mistakes or silly decisions, the first thing that comes to your mind is negativity?
Realize that the level of empathy and acceptance you are showing towards others, the love you keep showering them with, comes from within. And unless you yourself do not give the same acceptance and love to you, how will you be able to shower the same to others?
As Rumi once correctly said, you cannot love others, unless you love yourself.
Look Within, you are worthy too.
Try Tonglen Meditation.
This form of meditation was developed thousands of years ago, by a Buddhist monk. The main idea behind it lies in the way we channel our compassion into creating something more beautiful.
During this meditation process, your main focus like the mindful meditation is to be aware of your inhale and exhales.
Here’ s the interesting part.
As you inhale, you take in the pain, in its pure raw form and you let it become a part of you.
Let this pain, these negative self-talk, criticism you show yourself, reach towards the core of your heart, wherein you shall now send love and compassion to yourself.
Next as you exhale, with the long breath, you imagine that you are sending unconditional love and care towards that pain.
It’s the same way you would for your loved one, but right now, you are in need of the same.
Begin your days on a compassionate note
I had read this somewhere, that the way you begin your day, plays a crucial role as to how your entire day would go. Try beginning your day thus, with words of compassion. It will be in the same way you greet your best friend or family members or significant other.
Here are a few you can try practising:
- Today is a beautiful day…” I will try my best to enjoy it to the fullest”
- I will try my best to be kind to myself today
- I will give my best today, not thinking about the bad consequences.
- I will be a stronger version of myself, as I get ready to face the day.
- I will be a happier version of myself today knowing that I am enough.
Lastly, as the famous quote says,You’ve been criticising yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens next?
I think that’s all I would like to say and it’s for you to try.