Clients have often asked me: "What is compassion and how do I feel it for myself?"
My definition of compassion is a feeling of kindness, caring, tenderness and gentleness. Most of us have often had the experience of compassion toward others, but what about toward yourself?
What if, when you are aware of your wounded feelings - your anxiety, depression, anger, guilt, shame, and so on - you chose to feel kindness and gentleness toward these feelings? You could then move into the Six Steps of Inner Bonding to discover how you are abandoning yourself - what you are telling yourself and how you are treating yourself - that is causing your feelings. And in understanding and moving into truth, you would feel better.
What if, when you are aware of your wounded feelings, you ignore them, move into judgment toward them, blot them out with addictions, or make someone else responsible for them? It is likely that you will then end up feeling even worse from compounding the self-abandonment.
What if, when you are aware of your core feelings - your sadness, sorrow, heartache, heartbreak, grief, or helplessness over others - instead of avoid these feeling with various addictions and other forms of self abandonment - you embrace them with caring, tenderness, gentleness, and kindness toward yourself? When you make this choice, you open the door to these feelings moving through you rather than them getting stuck in you due to avoiding them with your various protections.
Moving into compassion for yourself - choosing to be kind, caring, tender and gentle with yourself - is the key to moving out of being a victim of your addictions and of others choices and into your personal power and emotional freedom.
When you make the conscious choice to be kind, caring and gentle with yourself and others, your heart opens and compassion, which is a gift of Spirit, comes into your heart. It is the choice to be kind and caring that opens your heart to the power of compassion.
Do you know what kindness is? Do you know what gentleness is? Do you know what tenderness is? Most people do. Most people have the ability to chose to be kind and gentle with others. What about choosing to be kind and gentle with yourself?
If you wanted to be kind and gentle with yourself, would you judge yourself? No, because it is not kind. Would you ignore your feelings? No, because it is not kind. Would you attempt to blot out your feelings and fill your emptiness with food, alcohol, drugs, TV, spending, blame, anger, caretaking, or any other addiction? No, because it is not kind to yourself. Would you pull on others to be kind to you rather than being kind to yourself. No, you wouldn't, because it is unkind to yourself to make others responsible for you.
On the other hand, would you be unkind to others - blaming them, judging them, ignoring them, rejecting them? No, because it is not kind to yourself to be unkind to others. It is never loving to ourselves to treat others badly, so when your guiding light is to be kind to yourself, you will naturally be kind to others.
Why not decide today to make kindness - with yourself and others - your guiding light? Being a kind person will bring you far more joy than being a reactive person, i.e. allowing others to determine who you want to be. Try focusing on kindness each moment and see how you end up feeling. You might discover your personal power and emotional freedom!