by Jackie Cabrera
As you know by now I am a big advocate for self care because it has helped me so much in my personal life. Whenever I find myself in difficult situations I lean into my self care habits and these make very challenging times a little more tolerable. There is no more powerful tool for meeting the challenges of our time than compassion.
Self-care is about creating and planning space in your life for you. What is the self-care journey? It is the journey towards building your self-esteem and creating a positive relationship with yourself. It means taking time for yourself, understanding that you are important regardless of what anyone thinks about you. This is where compassion comes in.
Compassion is the ability to care for others, to see ourselves in each other. It is a state of mind, a state of emotion. It's what brings light to the darkness and love to our lives. When we feel compassion we always recognize that others need help and we do something to alleviate their suffering. When you achieve full compassion you don't choose who you're giving it to, it becomes part of who you are.
It is through compassion that we achieve our full humanity. Compassion inspires us to work for the well being of all. It prevents us from abusing or oppressing one another. We are all capable of showing more compassion through small acts of attention, concern and love.
Compassion gives us the ability to make a positive difference not only in the lives of others but in our own. When we think of compassion we always think of others, we never think of giving ourselves compassion. We too need our compassion. We are also going through difficult situations and we need to be able to care for ourselves the same way we care for another.
Self-compassion involves treating oneself as one would treat others—with kindness, understanding, patience, concern and forgiveness. In being self-compassionate and through practicing self-kindness, a person replaces self-criticism with self-understanding and self love.
Self-compassion is a way of relating to our own suffering by allowing ourselves to feel it, hold the pain in awareness, and accept it with warmth and kindness. Self compassion is not suppressing our feelings, it is not pushing away or trying to avoid unpleasant feelings. Label your feelings in the moment; acknowledge what you’re feeling, instead of trying to bury or escape it. Acknowledge that pain won’t last forever and that you will make it through just like you have done so before.
"People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within." — Elisabeth Kubler-Ross