If you lived on this planet, then you would probably have heard the argument that people nowadays would benefit from a little more compassion. A highly justified argument in modern times, where we consume more of our time and energy trying to decode the way we succeed in life. It seems that our lives are dominated by the motivation to get ” to the point ” where we feel complete. Do you see the trap? If not, you’ll see it soon.
There is a remarkable lack of intention for meaningful contact. That is why we feel an instinctive desire for more love and compassion. It makes sense, but there is an even bigger hole to tackle first. The relationship with ourselves κριση γαμου.
As the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty glass. Successfully offering genuine compassion to others is impossible if we do not give ourselves first, through the loving care we wish to share.
What is compassion to ourselves?
Being compassionate is usually associated with a certain capacity for compassion, empathy, and kindness. It is the kindness we feel when we comfort a crying child. Focusing on compassion can mean that we experience a sense of calm when we share or sympathize with others.
Imagine turning all this affection inward. How is it; Soothing? Scary; Maybe both.
Offering compassion to yourself is essentially no different from giving it to others. The reason it may seem so unlikely is because we tend to react to our own pain in a very different way than to the pain of others. If you take a moment to reflect, you are likely to find that you are your toughest judge.
Compassion requires the ability to perceive one’s pain, to sympathize with it, and to recognize that we all suffer. When we have a compassionate reaction to someone, it is because we somehow recognize that we ourselves have endured emotional upheavals.
How do you talk to yourself in the midst of a difficult time or failure? Be honest with yourself. Allow yourself to intervene by reminding you that you are all alone. Many of us are not kind to ourselves during our personal struggles. Instead of understanding and patience, we usually treat ourselves with harsh criticism. Does this remind you of something;
Self-compassion is the technique of treating your painful experiences and personal failures with compassionate acceptance and sincere kindness.
Details: The Three Elements of Self-Compassion
The structure of self-compassion has been divided into three elements by Dr Kristin Neff, whose ever-increasing research on the phenomenon is inspired by Buddhist psychology. The three elements of self-compassion not only provided more insight into the functionality of the structure, but also provided guidance on how we could develop our own personal application.
Kindness (to ourselves) vs Criticism
The first element of self-compassion is probably the most obvious and one that can be identified even by uneducated. We can all understand the difference between treating ourselves with criticism and kindness in difficult times. It is the time we choose to fall into the vortex of criticism or hide our pain under the rug or leave room for feelings of inadequacy, listen to their story and offer them a warm embrace. Obstacles are inevitable in life. Resisting it or denying it leads to more pain and extreme reactions to ourselves. People with self-compassion have cultivated their ability to cope with difficulties with a carefully structured sensitivity based on empathy and acceptance.
Common Humanity vs Isolation
Have you ever felt that you were the only person who could have failed so spectacularly? We’ve all gone through this. It is a shame to speak. Listening to this voice leads to the mistaken belief that only you suffer, creating a situation that gives you a sense of isolation. The truth of the matter is that struggle, pain, suffering and everything in between is a central (and important) part of the human experience. You may need to read this again! Vulnerability is a friendly reminder that you live. The key to developing self-compassion is to realize and internalize the undeniable reality that pain is an experience common to all people. No one is alone.
Mindfulness vs Over-Identification
Balance plays an important role in self-compassion. While you want to be aware of your thoughts and emotions by giving them the space to exist and to pass on your perception, you do not want to get caught in the trap of believing that you are your own thoughts and feelings. This is the difference between consciousness and over-identification. When you accept your thoughts and emotions with consciousness, you will perceive them without criticism as a mere observer. Being seduced by the wave of negative emotions or alternatively trying to deny or suppress them leaves you feeling as if you are trying to hold your breath under the water with no prospect of air. Self-compassion involves the ability to observe your own negative thoughts and feelings as drops falling into a human ocean of frightening experiences.
The first step in gaining self-compassion
The benefits of applying self-compassion are numerous and include the ability to improve aspects of yourself and aspects of your life such as:
• communication and interpersonal conflicts
• personal relationships
• the coping mechanisms
• achieving goals
• overall well-being
Making the decision to redefine your relationship with yourself is a great endeavor. Developing self-compassion is a journey worth taking. Take a deep breath and remember that every journey begins with just one step.
Experiment with what happens when you start talking and responding to yourself when you are suffering as you would a child or a dear friend. This simple exercise will put you on the path to open the door to a new relationship with yourself.
If we want to have a meaningful impact, we must start with ourselves. Cultivating self-compassion will help you to get to know yourself better while at the same time paving the way for more authentic contact with others. Fill your glass with self-compassion and the realization will be yours now.