That’s How I’m Made!
Self-Compassion is necessary, and requires extra skill to overcome self-imposed obstacles. People whose emotional experience creates difficulties for them in their work, family, dating, and home life often have a tough road ahead of them because they believe their characteristic emotional responses are inborn. “That is how I am made,” they will say. “What can I do? Stop being me?” they will persist. Still, they suffer, and you cannot help but wonder if this stance is worth committing to this suffering for the long-term.
Changing For Others VS. Learning To Respond To Your Feelings With Self-Compassion
The difference between self-compassion and what people assume are their options, when it comes to modifying emotional responses is that self-compassion honors these feelings. It does not ask you to change how you feel, but instead to be present to this experience, and respond to it with kindness, so that you have the space to ask yourself what kind of response to these feelings will bring YOU the most well-being.
This kind of process can be learned, and if these emotional experiences come up so often that you feel they define you, then it sounds like you will have plenty of opportunities to practice. The rub is that you have to make this effort for you. If you decide to change your behavior for others you will never give yourself an opportunity to accept yourself, and become the master of your own destiny.
Simple Steps To Move From Impulsive Passion To Ease-Promoting Self-Compassion
So, what does this work look like in real time? Notice your emotional experience as it arises. If you feel compelled to react immediately, witness this too. We are curious beings by nature. Take the time to look at this impulse. Think about what it wants. Track the body parts that tense up in anticipation of what you feel compelled to do. Soften around these body parts. Notice your heartbeat slow, and your breathing become long and regular. Then, think about how you can be kind to yourself. Now, that you are feeling more at ease in your body, think of an action, if you still feel compelled to act, that will bring you even more ease.
And just like that, you have honored your experience, responded to it with compassion, soothed your discomfort, and made room for decisions that will lead you to greater ease and happiness. So, the next time you are feeling emotionally charged, compelled to act, and concerned about the judgment of others, return to this process, and make room for what your heart most deeply desires. If you take the time, you will notice that once you start doing things that put you at ease, then you will be more likely to surround yourself with people who support this journey, and they will accept you, scars, scratches, smiles, hopes, dreams, and all.
365 Days Of Self-Compassion. Day 212. In The Books.