Word for the month: SELF COMPASSION
Self Compassion will be the word for this month. I’ll be posting quotes, reflections and resources in hopes to increase your awareness of and giving in to self compassion.
Steps for Appropriating (making something your own; bringing it into being) Self Compassion:
- A compelling, whole hearted, authentic, God-centered, “I want to be more of my true self” motivation!
I love journaling and believe in it wholeheartedly! Journaling helps you discover and learn about yourself. Through journaling you can find your deep-down, whole hearted motivation to be more compassionate towards your self.
Here are some questions to journal:
Who would you be if you spoke encouraging, lovingly kind words to yourself when you made mistakes or were imperfect?
- How would you be treating others if you didn’t wallow in your self criticism and judgment?
- How much more compassion would you be able to give others?
- Are you wanting to live out your purpose? Would it serve your purpose to beat yourself up and make yourself suffer over something or to recognize what happened and give yourself compassionate whispers?
- How much more do you think you’d reflect God if you were self compassionate…willing to accept your mistakes and relieve your suffering with loving kindness?
- Not avoiding or denying or trying to run from the feelings, behavior or thoughts that you don’t particularly like in your ‘self’.
I found it interesting that I thought being compassionate to my self would somehow feel “good”….and it does, YET it was often preceded by feelings I so wish to avoid…anger, frustration, despair, disappointment, guilt, shame, fear, anxiety. Feelings that arose from a behavior I just did or a thought I had that was “un-praise worthy”. In order to appropriate self compassion I had to feel or recognize those things first so I knew this as a time to be self compassionate.
What I, and maybe you, don’t often recognize is our avoidance strategies. Some may be big and easy to recognize:
Over eating, excessive TV/computer, over work or laziness, any kind of addiction. Yet, here are some others: justifying, blaming, over analyzing, comparing, defensiveness, judging others. Any time I find myself in the midst of one of those processes, big or small, I have to stop and get CURIOUS and not critical. What is going on? What just happened? What am I trying to avoid? And many times, what feeling am I trying to avoid? What aspect of myself am I trying to not look at? Once I can see my avoidance techniques, I can step back and find the cause within myself that needs some loving kindness. This isn’t always easy and it takes courage and step number 3…..
Over and over…practicing the above…remembering the deep down, heart motivation to be my ‘self’—to be the one God made me to be. Then sticking with whatever feeling I was feeling to be able to relieve it with compassion and loving kindness instead of avoidance or some other behavior that said, “oh, let’s not face whatever it was I just did because it is too painful!” And giving one’s self compassion for whatever avoidance process I was participating in as well!
It does sound a bit tricky and overwhelming. Remember it is just returning over and over to give kindness, mercy, grace to your human being. To let your spiritual being, that part of you that is God and has God with you at all times, bring you kindness, mercy, and grace. The more you do this, the more you will be able to do it easily and quickly for your ‘self’ and for others.