“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion” – Dalai Lama
We’ve heard the word “compassion” too often in our lives in various forms and phrases per se:
“Be kind to others”
“Care for the feelings of others”
“Share love and benevolence”
Today, I want to focus on practicing compassion on a rather unheeded sect, “Self.”
I know compassion is generally construed as being kind, caring and understanding to the needs and feelings of others but do you believe a broken heart can understand the woes of others?
Well, then let’s move on to find out what exactly is meant by “Self–Compassion.”
“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection” -Buddha
In the never-ending race of our monotonous life, we rarely empathize with ourselves. We remember to do special things for each of our family members but we forget to pamper ourselves. Let me elaborate:
- When was the last time you prioritized your choice over others?
- When was the last time you went shopping for yourself?
- Did you cook food of your choice lately (especially the cuisine disliked by the rest of the family)?
- Did you pursue your hobby (music/painting/dance/reading/travelling) after you stepped into this mature adult disciplined life?
- Did you go to your dream location at the planned family vacation or was it a destination of your spouse/ children’s choice?
- Do you follow your exercise regime or do you try to fit it among other family chores?
- Did you read that book you added to your “To be read” list months ago?
- Did you buy yourself that pricey dress you saw in the store few days ago?
- Have you planned for that spa you secretly wish for, to relax yourself?
I’m sure some of these questions would have brought a “Yes! I did it” (a sense of accomplishment, you see :)) while others would have made you sigh! So, we hardly give ourselves the amount of time and attention that we truly deserve after the kind of effort we put in our day. Phew!
In my belief, one must first learn to respect oneself and one’s own time and space, in order to be kind and respectful to others (with no intention of saying that we should be self-absorbed and ruthless to others!)
You cannot expect yourself to be generous and sympathetic to others if your own wounds are not healed.
So, try doing the following this week:
- Give yourself that desired break.
- Listen to your heart and do something special for yourself once in a while.
- Be kind to yourself.
- Forgive yourself for that past mistake or failure.
- Care for your feelings.
- Stop judging and comparing yourself.
- Let that sense of worthlessness go away.
- Give yourself another chance.
- Go out of the vicious circle of mundane.
- Take chances and move out of your comfort zone.
- Only a lively heart can spread happiness.
- Only a happy and content soul can empathize with others.
- Only a gratified human can be compassionate with others.
In the larger interests of society, it’s imperative to first practice compassion at home, without tipping over the thin line between self-compassion and selfishness, of course!
“The best part of life is not just surviving, but thriving with passion and compassion and humor and style and generosity and kindness.”