Compassion is Your Gift to Yourself
This Albert Einstein Quote Was the Inspiration for this Post
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. However, this delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
Compassion is a part of human love and a cornerstone of greater social connection. Compassion can be emotional in nature, and is considered deeper than simple empathy. Interestingly, compassion is related in origin, form and meaning to the English noun “patient,” one who suffers.
Compassion For Self
Numerous philosophies and traditions rank compassion as one of the greatest virtues. The Dalai Lama says that having compassion for self is the basis for developing compassion for others. Loving kindness toward all beings starts with loving and trusting yourself first.
“compassion is related …to patient, one who suffers”
Taking care of yourself is more than getting enough sleep, doing yoga, eating right, taking vitamins, getting fit and meditating. According to Pema Chödrön, “When taking care of ourselves is all about me, it never gets to the unshakable tenderness and confidence that we need when everything falls apart.” Ultimate self care is unconditional acceptance of yourself regardless of circumstance, so you can be there for others.
Service Without Expectation
The ability to put others before ourselves is an ongoing process. Be patient with yourself and know that you are doing your best. When we begin the journey of being in service to others, it is important to build a strong foundation by developing your love, understanding and friendship with yourself.
Looking at the Dark Side
It is human nature for people to be their own worst critic, and sometimes it’s not pretty. Nonetheless, running a mental tally of all of the ways that you goof up, stupid things said and silly ideas that run through your head don’t accomplish much. How hard do you try to get people to like you? For most, it’s a lot! Working through your stuff isn’t easy but is very rewarding. After all, it’s a lot easier to say, “this is who I was” versus “this is what I’m struggling with now.” People are not that different. Who doesn’t want to be loved, accepted and understood? It starts with compassion for self, spending time accepting your dark side, and knowing that it is perfectly OK to be you.
“Be patient with yourself and know that you are doing your best.”
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