(This is a continuing blog series from my attendance at the Boundless Compassion Retreat and Facilitator Training in June 2018. Some of the contents are adapted from Boundless Compassion – Creating a Way of Life by Joyce Rupp, 2018, with permission from Joyce Rupp, author).
“People who faithfully offer compassion to others
often neglect to do the same for themselves.”
(Joyce Rupp, Boundless Compassion – Creating a Way of Life, 2018)
Why is that? What may have caused this?
- Maybe we were taught to think of others before self.
- When in pain or suffering, we tell ourselves, I shouldn’t hurt this much, or I ought to be over this by now.
- We are conditioned from our family or societal culture.
Self-compassion is offering loving kindness to ourselves when we are hurting for whatever reason; exhausted from caring for others; obsessed with our less than perfect self; having difficulties with relationships; or experiencing events that cause us stress, sorrow and suffering.
As Kristin Neff, author and associate professor in educational psychology at University of Texas, says, “Self-kindness involves more than merely stopping self-judgement. . . We soothe and calm our troubled minds. We make a peace offering of warmth, gentleness and sympathy from ourselves to ourselves, so that true healing can occur.”
To extend loving kindness to ourselves, we may need to let go of things such as:
- Our shame or concern about failure,
- Exhaustion as a status symbol,
- Anxiety as a life style,
- Self-doubt – “I’m supposed to . . .” “the way I should be is. . .”, or
- Always wanting to be in and show control.
We need to foster the ability to receive. We must be willing to forgive ourselves.
“If we have compassion for our self, we will continually become a healing presence for others without saying a word or doing anything extraordinary. We will convey kindness by our presence, by our attitude toward their suffering and our own.” (Joyce Rupp, Boundless Compassion – Creating a Way of Life, 2018)
I invite you to listen to a 3 minute video clip of a presentation I gave on self-compassion at the 2018 Mercy Breast Cancer Symposium:
Here are several questions for your own reflection on self-compassion.
- What do I need to let go of to extend loving kindness to myself?
- Where is my hurt, my pain?
- How have I given attentive care to my hurt or pain?
My next blog will focus on Compassion Fatigue. Thank you.