Self Compassion #MondayBlogs

pema2Compassion and self-love are fundamental themes in religion and spirituality. Jesus spoke of two commandments: Love yourself and Love others as you love yourself. Buddhists talk of Maitri, a loving kindness towards oneself that awakens a fearlessly compassionate attitude toward your own path and that of others.

Okay. I get it. I’m supposed to not just like myself, which I do on good days. I’m supposed to looove myself.

But let’s face the truth. Some days it’s not easy.

I know my own faults better than anyone; my messy thoughts and feelings; my shameful actions and in-actions; my oh-so-human frailties. But they say I should love myself anyway. Unconditional self-love.

“…when we buy into disapproval, we are practicing disapproval. When we buy into harshness, we are practicing harshness. The more we do it, the stronger these qualities become. How sad it is that we become so expert at causing harm to ourselves and others. The trick then is to practice gentleness…” Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart, p.29)

“Every act counts. Every thought and emotion counts too. This is all the path we have.” (Ibid,. p. 141)

Three practical ways of dealing with chaos: First, “Slow down enough topema3 just be present, let go of the multitude of judgments and schemes , and stop struggling. Second, … take a different attitude towards suffering. Instead of pushing it away, we can breathe it in with the wish that everyone could stop hurting, with the wish that people everywhere could experience  contentment in their hearts. We could transform pain into joy. Third, we can acknowledge that suffering exists, that darkness exists. The chaos…is basic energy, the play of wisdom. Whether we regard our situation as heaven or as hell depends on our perception. Finally, …relax and lighten up … cultivate a sense of humor and practice giving ourselves a break.” (Ibid., p. 126)

I understand, gentle, unconditional love for oneself flows into love for others and through it a deep and true compassion, a compassion that can change the world

I love the theory, but it’s a hard practice.

What do you think?

Author: Jo-Ann Carson

About Jo-Ann Carson Where magic happens … Reports of Jo-Ann Carson’s death on a Gulf Island are greatly exaggerated or, at the very least, premature. The eclectic crew of ghosts that haunt her head spill onto the page in two series: The Gambling Ghosts and The Ghost & Abby Mysteries. A Viking with existential issues, a broken hearted Highlander, a Casanova man-witch and a Pirate with a secret are just a few of the males her strong heroines encounter in tales of fantasy, adventure and romance. A firm believer in the magic of our everyday lives, Jo-Ann loves watching sunrises, walking beaches near her home in the Pacific Northwest and reading by the fire. You can visit her on social media: Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook

9 thoughts on “Self Compassion #MondayBlogs”

  1. Laughing out loud! I know, love yourself when you know your hot mess self – I totally get it.
    Like meditation and writing, compassion for one self takes practice. Sometimes I think of it like a high school break up – you can’t imagine not thinking about the boyfriend every minute of the day, you can’t sleep eat because all you think about it your undying love of this person who broke your heart (or your hot messy self broke up with them and now you want them back), then one day you don’t think of that person as often. You can eat lunch, you can sleep a bit. Then another day goes by and you’re more worried about what to wear to the dance than how your ex-boyfriend use to hold your hand. Then all of a sudden you can’t remember the details of your first date. Time does heal. Practice and time I guess are key to compassion.
    I’m going to hold the quote about ‘every act counts’ this week to my compassionate practice.
    Thank you Jo-Ann for sharing – compassion is needed. I love my messy self! 🙂


    1. Hi Marion Ann
      “Practice and time.”
      I think you’re right, and your sense of calm and love in the middle of chaos holds me and my swirling “hot mess” in awe. lol
      No matter how difficult I find it, however, I do like the process of trying to be a better person, so I’m totally in.
      hugs from a fellow traveller who sometimes admits she loves herself [smile]


  2. I just reread this. Why wouldn’t you love yourself? I’ve never thought of ever not loving myself. I’m a good person. I haven’t murdered anyone. I don’t believe you have either.
    Maybe I’m not being deep enough. Or people are too hard on themselves. Self -love should be easy to accept.


  3. I agree that there are days when I simply don’t love myself. I see all my faults magnified. Of course being tired makes things worse,
    also the tapes that run through my head from my childhood. My mother was a perfectionist housekeeper and I’m not. You would think that I could forgive myself by now? But not so. Then there’s the tendency to find fault with, not just myself, but others. It really is amazing what a kind, generous person I can be when I’ve had a good night’s sleep and the sun’s out.

    Liked by 1 person

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