Welcome to the second article of this four part series of Is there an app for that? We are discussing the components to an application for change. And the first component that comes to mind is Compassion.
The measure of compassion is love. The measure of love is kindness.
When we are on the road to change, one of the first steps is to acknowledge and embrace where we are and who we are. Life is like a road, and travelling on that road we sometimes hit a few potholes. Those potholes can throw us out of alignment – not just our cars, but our beings – ourselves. When we are out of alignment, we can realign with self-compassion.
It’s easy to have compassion for others, its time you do more of it for yourself.
The greatest gift that you can give yourself is to be forgiving of yourself. To have self compassion. Instead of beating ourselves up for the potholes in life, give ourselves a bit of slack.
Dr. Kristen Neff – Having compassion means you offer understanding and kindness to others when they fail or make mistakes instead of judging them harshly. Self-compassion involves acting the same way toward yourself. You may make changes of yourself to behave or act in ways that are more healthy, but this is done because you care about yourself not because you are worthless or unacceptable as you are.
Change starts with loving ourselves and taking that compassion and turning it inside. The gift of self-compassion removes the desire to compare ourselves with others – if I had as much money as Brad, as much happiness as Sally, as much freedom as Tom. Life isn’t about comparing, its about “who am I”. Its about showing up as you are. I can’t be who you are and you can’t be who I am, but you can be you and I can be me. That’s it. That’s all.
I have a client who explained to me that he wasn’t able to forgive himself or give himself slack when he messed up because that would be lowering the bar of his expectations. However, he had cornered himself with is mighty expectations. If he wasn’t 100% confident that he would succeed, he wouldn’t start. If he didn’t start, he wouldn’t fail and then he wouldn’t need to scold himself. Where did this put him? No where.
We discussed self-compassion, and he, like so many people in the world described himself as his own worst critic. Isn’t it bad enough to have a bad boss at work? To be ones’ own self-critic means you take the critic with you everywhere. Everywhere.
Where could you own up to more self-compassion? More love. More kindness.
In order to start the cycle of change, it is important to know that you have a safe place to land should you fall.