Honesty And Sincerity
The only way for self-compassion to work is to approach it with honesty, and sincerity. I would be a pretty poor teacher if I did not struggle with my own practice, at times. Recently, I trained a little too strenuously at the gym, and have to work with a tightened back. I also watched a show that reminded me of my greatest vulnerability: that some day I might lose my grandmother, my mother, and my Aunt Susan. In times like these, self-compassion asks that we greet these challenges with a gentle curiosity, the ability to notice how these challenges feel in the moment, and how to accept that they are present, even if done so with resignation.
It would be easy to ignore these issues, run from them with distraction, or pretend that they are needless worries, but somewhere inside me would be building up these concerns, while simultaneously doing nothing to accept that I come by them genuinely, and am allowed to be aggrieved by them. That is what is necessary for true self-compassion to take place.
Suffering And Grief Sidetracks Us
We fear suffering and grief. That is why we run from them, but the faster we run, the more they own us. We start to change our lives to avoid these feelings, and lose important opportunities for self-acceptance, and love. Personally, I love to train, so it is important for me to accept that some days I will have some pain, and can honor that pain without allowing it to determine my future actions. Similarly, I love my grandmother, and my mother, and my Aunt Susan more than anything in the known or unknown worlds. I want to honor that. I also want to honor the fear of losing them. And, I want to do both things, so that I am free to love them without reservation right now.
How Not To Be Sidetracked By Suffering And Grief
We always think that actively changing our experience will make it better, and that it will give us control, but often times the need to change it is what controls us, and the changes we make only strengthen that control. So honor your thoughts, your wishes, your body, those you love most, your fears, your dreams, and everything in between. Get to know your experience as a kind friend would, give yourself permission to feel as you do naturally, and bring kindness to this experience, so that you are free to live your life instead of having your life live you.
365 Days Of Self-Compassion. Day 203. In The Books.