You need self-compassion to protect your dreams. They are smattered with the language of your heart, and your most vulnerable parts. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable and accepted are necessary ingredients to truly feeling safe and alive. This will not make you invincible, but it will give you the freedom to share your most valued parts without fear of reproach or apology.
The journey to this point will be hard. There is no one like you, so others will not have an example of you out there in the great wide world to assure them of your success. They will worry. They will question your journey. They will question you. They come by their worries naturally, and you will come by your responses to their worries naturally, too. This is a good time for self-compassion. Hear yourself say, May I be safe. May I be kind to myself. May I accept myself just as I am. May I be wise enough to not dwell on my own worries or the worries of others.
The most self-compassionate thing you can do after finding your way back to self-support and self-kindness is to continue your journey. Dwelling on the worries of others or your own worries will only bring you more suffering. True freedom is not living without worry. It is learning to live as kindly as you can with it. That means not giving up on your dreams. That means not giving up on being the best you that you can be. That means never believing that you are destined for a life of constant self-protection and suffering.
The Lion And His Mane
There once was a lion, who trimmed off his mane. The other lions laughed at him. “Where is your mane? Where is your strength?” They chortled. He lied there under the warm sun, shaking his head every so often to drive away the flies. He let out a soft sigh, but they would not relent. “What kind of a lion has no mane? You’re no king of the jungle. You would be lucky to pass for a peasant!” Still no response, but another soft sigh. Two days, three days, four days of this, and the silent lion was struggling to remain quiet.
Finally, a man came to transfer them to a place with more grass, more water, and more animals. The land they had been living on had recently become dry, and the animals and plants had suffered in the process. While loading the last of the animals, the man said, “Thank goodness that lion let us cut off his mane. We never would have been able to make the weight limit of this truck without that sacrifice.” The other man just smiled, but as he turned the ignition to drive away, he said, “And, it will grow back.”
The Wisdom Of Self-Compassion
The sacrifices we make on the road to success are often difficult, and misunderstood, but these difficulties and misunderstandings pass. If we are lucky, our sacrifices help many people. If we live long enough, we will see these sacrifices turn into strengths. Hopefully, this experience will also help us gain the insight that we are all capable of questioning ourselves and others.
One day, perhaps we will make the same mistake. Instead of waiting until then to give ourselves and others compassion, we must try to benefit from that wisdom today. Like the lion’s mane, no matter what you give up, it will probably be worth it, not to mention the fact that it will likely come back to you anyway.
365 Days of Self-Compassion. Day 135. In The Books.