Keeping Your Self-Compassion Safe

Western Challenges To Self-Compassion

We have to attend to our self-compassion in a way that keeps it safe in Western culture that is so driven by competition, striving, and accomplishment.  People are weary to be kind to themselves just because, when they have spent a lifetime learning that self-kindness is a response to having completed something worthy of praise.  You do not need to judge others to insist on this safety, and I actually urge you not to, but there will be other people, who hear about your self-compassion practice that will argue that it is soft, weak, or indulgent. 

In all fairness, they would prefer that you not be doing anything to eclipse their personal power or accomplishment (ie: show a dedication to education, fitness, healthy eating, or financial literacy).  That’s is just the competitive nature of our culture.  They are not bad people.  They just do not want to suffer by comparison.  Because of this fact, you will be tempted to give up your efforts to end this painful scrutiny, but also as a form of compassion towards the criticizers, who are clearly suffering.

Safeguarding Your Self-Compassion

Despite these challenges, you cannot hand over your self-compassion.  Whether people who love you understand it or not, you need self-compassion to live a good enough life to take care of yourself, and be able to give back to others consistently.  People understand compromises like this normally once they have kids.  Other people are annoyed by some of your kids’ needs or there are costumes or activities that would normally embarrass you, but you forgo the potential criticisms of others for the necessary well-being of your children, which is honorable.  And, you need to honor yourself in the same way.

3 Quick Steps To Keep Your Self-Compassion Safe

How can we go about preserving our Self-Compassion?  First, notice the tension that arises with this conflict.  Name the conflict, and soften around the tense areas.  Second, recognize that you and these other people come by your conflict naturally.  You just want to take care of yourself, and they do not want to feel that they have been doing it wrong for so long.  Wish yourself and them the wisdom to give yourselves compassion despite not knowing how to do so earlier.  Third, ask yourself how you can be kind to yourself in this very moment.  Remember, it does not have to be easy to get done.  It just needs to be consistent.

365 Days Of Self-Compassion.  Day 194.  In The Books.