Learning Compassion for Self

In yoga, the Sage was telling us to focus on compassion for self.

Are you compassionate with yourself? So many of us have places in life where we demonstrate and live incredible compassion for an external cause, or a person, or class of people. Yet we are not always compassionate to ourselves.

Where are you the most difficult on yourself? Where do you not give yourself a break? Where does the mind chatter say you cannot do that (whatever that is) in your life?
You’re not alone.

Jared, a client of mine, said I could share his story. His parents loved him but were so frustrated by how stopped he was in life. When I met initially with Jared to discuss working together, it was apparent here was a great young man who would not give himself a break. In his language and in his behaviors, the anger and self-destructive behaviors were so self-defeating.

Jared and I did walking sessions. We would walk and talk. What emerged was a deep lack of compassion based upon three incidents in his younger life. As a result, Jared’s mind had taken the incidents, created a dis-empowering story which Jared was living as though they were real in his world.

Still, Jared was so powerful: he had surrounded himself with people and situations to reinforce the story in his world. Yes, the mind is THAT powerful. His lack of self-compassion resulted in a downward spiral. As the awareness grew, he began to develop some awareness and then compassion for the thoughts he was creating.

As his awareness grew, his compassion grew, and shift occurred.  Within a few months, Jared was not recognizable. He would smile and laugh. His destructive behavior went down, and was almost eliminated. He began to take a more active role in the family business. A deep shift occurred.

This week, look at your life story. Ask yourself the following questions:

Where are you less than compassionate with yourself?

What story do you tell yourself?

What story have you told others about yourself?

Where does this story stop you in life?

Does this story take away your compassion?

How does this story impact your self-compassion?

Journal about each question. See what arises in the inquiry. Journaling is a powerful tool I use to deepen my work with people. And as you deepen the compassion toward yourself, take the renewed you powerfully out in the world and make a difference.

If you have questions, please drop me an email at jim@AmazingLifeDesign.com.

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

-Anaďs Nin

Contributed by Executive, Life and Spirituality Coach, Jim Pehkonen

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