NEWS FLASH: Self compassion isn't selfish.
Quite the contrary... The ultimate gift we give others isn't wrapped in a bow, it's self compassion.
I won't deny it: giving is beautiful and feels great. But when the relationship you have with yourself is full of judgment, resentment, harsh criticisms or restriction, giving freely simply isn't possible. The Law of Attraction says you attract what you are and wise people have told me You just can't give something you haven't got.
Have you ever offered someone close to you a lending ear, only to later resent them for not listening to you the same way? Does it ever cross your mind that "they're stupid" or "I can't believe they are moving so slow!" even for a brief moment? What we believe in our deepest parts come out in the ways we interact with or think about other people.
The truth is, we are all judgmental and we are all imperfect. By seeing that everyone around you is doing the best they can, it gives you permission to see that you, too, are doing the best you can. By practicing self compassion, from the inside out you become more equipped with a gentle, patient and understanding perspective. Seeing yourself with softer eyes makes it come more easily to see the world you live in the same way.
This compassionate stance doesn't mean accepting unacceptable behavior, nor does it mean that you stop seeking to grow and become your best self. Through self compassion, which is a practice not a destination, the ripple effect of love is immeasurable.
Have you ever heard the saying, honey attracts more than vinegar? Try it out.
Start with just twenty seconds of kind self talk. For example, set a timer and say to yourself "I know you're doing the best you can and I will stay by your side, no matter what. It's okay to be human and scared, angry, unsure (or fill in the blank with something you don't necessarily like experiencing)." Repeat this twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon or evening for 3 days, then take note of how you're feeling overall. What do you notice about your closest relationships? Is anything coming more easily?
Loving others is an adventure of a lifetime. Loving yourself is a once in a lifetime, something you get to reinvent everyday if you choose.
Loving myself is not always easy. What drives me to practice self compassion in simple ways on a daily basis is other people and the dreams I have that require me showing up in striking ways. In order to be strong, I have to be soft. In order to be successful, I have to be safe. All of the things I want require me to give a lot to the world, which means I need to have an inner wellspring to draw upon. I don't have to love myself all the time in order to be kind to myself, and neither do you. Use other people to motivate you until you become your own motivation. It comes, in time; loving myself has been the result of a lot of practice and inner exploring, tough lessons and truth telling.
Self compassion might be tough in the beginning, but it won't be forever. I promise.
Most of us want more: money, love, acceptance, success, notoriety, friends, clients...
If you want more, start giving more, starting with yourself.
You'll be surprised at how life delivers when you prioritize yourself in ways that matter. Believe me, or prove me wrong (smile).
With Huge Heart,
As an advocate of Reinvention + Recovery, I work with clients to achieve balance, alignment and purpose in all areas