We know what both words mean, of course, but have you heard them together?
Compassion is the response to someone else’s suffering, and to come along side and help. It is to suffer along side, or help carry the burdens of another.
As a doula, compassion is the main ingredient in my practice. Those long nights of contractions that often feel like they are going nowhere. The momma cannot catch a wink of sleep and thus, the doula stays awake with her. Encouraging her, offering information, remaindering her that she is strong, she is capable and that the struggle is worth it. – at no point is it ever a good idea to tell her she cannot do this, she should give up, she is not strong enough to give birth, that she was never meant for this because clearly these contractions are too hard on her…. Can you imagine? NO no, so wrong. It is painful just writing those words.
Yet is many situation, not just during child birth, we do this to ourselves. Right in the thick of it at the point when we need to be the most patient, kind, encouraging, loving and compassionate, we through ourselves to the wolves. We speak self talk that breeds negativity and convinces ourselves that we cannot do what we set out to do, that our goals are to great for ourselves and we do not deserve it. Then we follow it up with a laundry list of reasons to support.
Friends, when the going gets tough that is when yourself most need yourself to be compassionate with yourself (you follow me here?) So think about what you would tell a friend or a child in those moments when they most need encouragement. That is what you need to tell yourself in those dark moments, then repeat it over and over and over again.
To be self Compassionate you must be:
Gentle, do not beat yourself up for past mistakes. Take and learn from them, when we learn from our mistakes we grow. The most successful people view their mistakes only as lessons to be learned, not shameful failures.
Honest, take an honest look at yourself. Is there room for improvement? Of course, we are human. Have I succeeded in the past? Yes! Will I succeed again? Of course! Will I fail again? Of course, but I will not beat myself up over it because I will learn from it.
And tell yourself,
I am loved, and I am worth it.
I am strong, and I can do this.
repeat it over and over again.
Be well friends, and know that we are all going through this journey together. Surround yourself with people who encourage you to be your best self and love them like they love you.