Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Compassion starts with ourselves

In creating peace within ourselves, we need to remember to be compassionate with ourselves. Most of us are our own worst critics. Our inner voices say things so hurtful that we'd never even think about saying such a thing to another human being. When it comes to our innner self talk, we say those same hurtful things to ourselves day in and day out.

Sometimes the hardest piece of compassion is offering it to ourselves, particularly when we've messed up. If we fail to get the promotion or raise we had hoped for, we tend to judge ourselves very harshly. We often feel it is our fault that we didn't get that promotion or that raise. It could be that we are not meeting the standards for the promotion. If we aren't, does that make anyone less of a person? However, we may not have gotten that promotion for any number of OTHER reasons which we tend to quickly reject.

When we have allowed ourselves to hope and those hopes get dashed, instead of judging ourselves, perhaps we should instead hold ourselves with compassion. If we had a child and they didn't get a place on the team, would we yell at them for not trying or for being a poor athlete? I doubt it. Instead we might hold them and let them be disappointed and reassure them that there will be other opportunities.

Our inner world is a very dear child. If we could offer that kind of compassion for our external child, then why can't we offer it to ourselves. Yes, we can all buck up and do better. Yes we are all bad to the bone. Remember, though, that is true for most everyone. It doesn't make anyone any less of a person. If we are all bad to the bone, as they say, then perhaps we are good to the bone as well. Sometimes it's important to honor that part of ourself.


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