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  • Writer's pictureDAJ

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.”

Dalai Lama

Compassion plays a crucial role in enhancing our lives. While it comes naturally to practice compassion and kindness towards others, cultivating self-compassion can often be challenging. Personally, I can vouch for this truth, as I have dedicated considerable effort to developing self-compassion throughout my life, yet I haven't fully mastered it.

The significance of compassion cannot be overstated when it comes to improving our overall well-being. By embracing a compassionate mindset, we extend understanding, empathy, and kindness to both ourselves and others. It fosters a sense of connection and nurtures positive relationships, leading to greater emotional resilience and personal growth.

Some steps we can take to increase our self-compassion

  1. Treat ourselves the way we would a dear friend

  2. Take a self-compassion break: remind yourself that suffering is a common human trait you are not alone and be kind to yourself.

  3. Replace your inner critic with a more self-compassionate voice

  4. Change your critical self-talk - reframe the observations made by the critical voice and put them in a more positive light.

  5. Think of a kind caring way to motivate yourself. I put a note on my fridge that says I believe in you. I’m trying to use that to inspire me.

  6. Remind yourself that love is much more powerful than fear

  7. Make a list of all your great qualities. Would you like that person?

  8. Forgive yourself for past mistakes

It's crucial to bear in mind that experiencing difficulties with self-compassion is a widespread phenomenon that doesn't diminish our value or potential to develop. Acknowledging our limitations and embracing self-compassion as an ongoing journey enables us to foster self-acceptance, resilience, and enhanced emotional well-being.

Therefore, although self-compassion may pose difficulties, it remains a valuable endeavor capable of profoundly reshaping our lives. Through persistent efforts in cultivating self-compassion, we can gradually nurture a profound sense of empathy, affection, and self-acceptance, thus opening the path to a more enriching and purposeful existence.

"Always remember your focus determines your reality." George Lucas

We can’t control what happens to us but we can choose and control what we pay attention to. Our brain has a negativity bias and when we focus on the negative we are more likely to find data to support the negative, We are more likely to feel like a victim. Once we feel like a victim, we start to feel helpless, like we have no control over our lives. It doesn’t take very long to go from helpless to hopeless. This happened to me when I had too many negative events happen to me all at once. I felt like I was in a computer game, and the bad guy kept hitting me repeatedly, and I had no shields or method to stop it so I was continually taking damage. Except it wasn’t a computer game. My dog died. Wham! My mom was sick. Pow! Your mom died! Whack! Your dad is ill. Crash! Your son was hurt. Bang! You broke your ankle. Wham! And you are in so, so much pain. Kapow!! By changing your focus, you can take control of your life even if you can't change your circumstances. To live a positive and happy life, concentrate on everything you are thankful for and replace negative thoughts with positive ones. For instance, I feel grateful for my adorable puppy who wags her whole butt at me, my loving and supportive family, and my own strength. Although I have faced tough times in the past, I believe that focusing on the things that lead to a rich and meaningful life, can make all the difference.

"There are so many things in life that make you happy don't focus too much on things that make you sad."

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it’s the courage to continue that counts.” Winston Churchill

Perfection plagues me. It has plagued me my whole life. I’ve made some mistakes recently and did not use self-compassion; I shamed myself into change instead of loving myself into change. I would tell myself, my ankle isn’t healing fast enough, you said the wrong thing to someone in pain, you didn’t feed the animals their lunch until 5 p.m. What is wrong with you? That kind of self-talk was not helpful It is not how I would talk to anyone so why do I treat myself that way?

I heard a lecture today where they said perfection is a mask for fear. Maybe fear of failure, I certainly knew that, but they were saying perfection can also mask many other fears, fears we may not even realize we are having. Fear carried over from previous trauma, that still registers in our bodies. When our body starts to feel fear, by a tightening of the stomach or clenching of the jaw, it has sent a signal to us that we need to be perfect or we are in danger.

We are potty training our adorable puppy Frankie. It is going slowly. My husband has told me does it matter if Frankie makes a mistake, does it change the way you feel about her? The answer of course is no. So have some self-compassion and try to realize mistakes happen Frankie and I are both amazing no matter what!.

Perfectionism is a habit formed out of fear. Therefore, become aware of what you are afraid of, and don’t let it control your life. Stay present in the moment, don’t live in the past or the future, and perfectionism will slowly dissipate. I’m willing to give it a try.

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