The Good Life: Obstacles And Resources
Self-Compassion covers a wide array of topics, but essentially it exists to make sure that you have a good life. Let’s look at the obstacles, and then the resources to this so-called good life.
Most things appear too simple to us, and we find ourselves enjoying them more, when we bespeckle them with complications, plot twists, and provocative emotions. For example, this is not just a bonsai tree. It is a tree that I have named Jennifer after my maternal great-grandmother that grows with sincere appreciation for my well-being, when I am kind to it. Of course, it also punishes me by wilting, when I am less attentive. Complication, drama, unexpected behaviors and responses, we love them all. So, it makes sense that we do the same thing in determining if we are living a contented life.
The problem with complicating the question of whether or not you are living a happy life is that life is already so complicated that complicating it further will only ensure that you never get an answer to your original question. This is one of those do I want to feel important or do I want to be happy cases that we have heard so much about.
For the purposes of self-compassion, we would like to be happy, so let’s take a brief respite from complicated drama, and get down to the brass tacks. There are only 4 questions that we must ask to decipher whether we are living a happy life.
Question 1: Are You Willing And Able to Manage Hardship When It Comes?
I know. You were hoping that we could avoid hardship, but we cannot, so it is important to be able to accept and endure it to live a happy life. Living a contented life does not require that we live without suffering, but rather that we do not let it ruin our wish to be healthy and pursue what makes us happiest. It can be boiled down to a five-word motto: Accept, And Don’t Give Up.
Question 2: Are You Kind To Yourself?
The only thing worse than other people being unkind to you is being unkind to yourself. Somehow, we have convinced ourselves that if we are tough enough on ourselves, then other people and life will not be. Life and other people do not care how tough you are on yourself, so you might as well be the kindest freaking person on the planet to yourself, so when hardship arrives the well you will have to draw from will run deep. Additionally, being kind to yourself is just a nice way of remembering that you are worthy of and have recently received love. If you find something better than love, please call me as soon as possible because I will want some of that thing immediately.
Question 3: Are You Willing To Accept Yourself Just As You Are?
The thing is that this is it. This is you. Sure, you will learn some new things, and you may even change. Ok, you will definitely change, but not in terms of the very essence of you, the you that you are deep down in your soul, the you that you have been since you were born. This you is already unique, and amazing. We need this you. We love this you. If you want to be happy, then you need to love this you too.
Question 4: Are You Building A Life That Prioritizes Your Well-Being?
Sometimes, we get so busy dealing with life’s tough stuff that we are persuaded that life is about living in a place of hardship. We think that if we plan a life of hardship that we will become immune. Ironically, we will just be guaranteeing that we will always suffer. That plain stinks.
There are no two ways about it. If you have a chance to feel good, even if it is for just a second, then reach out and grab it, and savor that delicious goodness until the very last drop. Some people worry that because there are people who are suffering that it is somehow wrong to have a good second, minute, hour, day, week, or year. Baloney!
Most people, who suffer and are able to be honest with themselves just want to enjoy their lives, and they want that for all people. Do not let your suffering or the suffering of others prevent you from planning a happy life. Do not give up on this plan just because disappointment pops up. Disappointment is merely a sign that you are meant for well-being somewhere, and with someone else. Go Get That Well-Being!
What was that? You want more? You cannot have more. Get out there, and have that good life. If you want to live in a world that promotes happiness, then you are going to have to start by setting an example. Ground yourself and your worries in your self-compassion practice, focus on acceptance and endurance, self-kindness, self-acceptance, and by prioritizing your well-being. And, for goodness sake, reward yourself. You are doing the real work!
365 Days Of Self-Compassion. Day 162. In The Books.