“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.” Buddha. When I recently saw this on someone’s Facebook page, it stopped me in my tracks. Perhaps this is one of the pieces missing in my life. I’m definitely good to myself… nails, hair, massage, etc. But am I compassionate? Would I say some of the things I tell myself to another person? Absolutely not! Do I encourage myself the way I do others…not really. When was the last time I comforted myself the way I do my friends and even strangers I meet on my journey? I’m not sure I know.
It definitely was not a coincidence that I had my second online therapy appointment the following day. My very perceptive therapist helped me get to what I believe to be a root cause to much of what I have been experiencing the last few months and, in an underlying way, most of my life. While the cause isn’t important, the manifestations are. Lack of self-compassion became apparent quickly. Great, now that I know, what do I do about it? I started doing some reading on different sites and found tools that I believe over time will help me learn to have self-compassion.
So far I have listened to how I speak to myself and stopped mid-sentence and reframed it when its something I wouldn’t say to someone else. Another thing I did this week was around food. While I will sometimes purchase veggies for salad, rarely do I actually eat them all. I don’t take the time to do this. Tonight I cut up all the veggies I purchased for the week. When it was time for dinner I took a handful of each item. I can’t begin to explain how amazing that felt. It may sound silly, but for me that was a compassionate thing to do. The last thing I did this week was make plans to socialize. I’ve been working at home for awhile and not leaving the house for days on end… missing human contact. That isolation makes room for my stinking thinking. By that I mean the idea that I am not good enough, nobody wants to hang out with me, etc. As I write this I know that isn’t true, but I can start believing it. Making plans to do fun things and to get out is on my list of things that create self-compassion.
I have a long ways to go, but I’ve taken some major steps this week. My toolbox is full of ideas that I will try over the coming weeks to see how they feel. Just the knowledge of what is going on and having a plan on what to do has created a ray of sun I haven’t seen in a while. I can’t wait to see where my journey takes me.