On Self-Compassion

It’s been a very long time since my last post and a lot has changed. This post might be super long because of it, so you’ve officially been warned.

I’m still with the same company, although right before my birthday I stopped working with my old team. That’s something new and refreshing and at least gives me the opportunity to see what else is out there in terms of working with teams and possibly a different company altogether. The downside is that I will be starting on the same floor as my family member next week. I’m not really looking forward to it for privacy reasons but I know this is the Universe teaching me a lesson in patience and grace. I just have to breathe through the entire thing.

I’ve learned how to do Reiki on myself! That’s the awesome thing which I can incorporate into my every day life. Perhaps – hopefully – it will really help me to move forward and heal a lot of old wounds and dense energy that is residing in my body.

The one thing I wanted to discuss today was my very recent epiphany about many of my friendships. I have more self-awareness than I used to, probably due to therapy with a mix of energy healing as well, but nevertheless, I’m more self-aware. With this awareness I’ve learned that I do have perfectionist qualities and I have high expectations for other people. This isn’t a good thing, but not entirely bad either. Simply something I need to work on and truly catch before I just go about tossing friendships and relationships left and right without having a real reason to do so.

In one of my friendships, I just kept thinking: “Damn I wish he was nicer to me. I wish he cared more about my feelings.” This led my mind to instantly jump to Byron Katie. Although I find her work to be highly controversial for MANY abusive topics that you simply cannot really “turn the thought around” to yourself, I find her questions and what she calls “the work” to be effective for most things we go through and for most thoughts. If any of you do not know her, basically her “work” is based on questioning your thoughts. Do not believe everything you think and when you do have an uncomfortable feeling, it is most likely a sign that you are attached to a thought which is not necessarily true for you. In essence, part of her work is to question your thoughts and then turn the initial statement around to yourself to see if there is some truth to it. For me, my initial statement was, “I wish so and so was nicer to me and cared more about my feelings.” By quickly reversing the statement to myself, it transmutes to: “I wish I was nicer to myself and I cared more about my feelings.” This was profound for me.

It helped me realize I’m actually quite mean to myself. I’ve encountered more aggressive personalities throughout my life that I’ve actually allowed to wreak havoc on my own self esteem and my own thought processes. Any time these “bullies” have told me about myself or analyzed me or gave me their opinions about x y and z (without being asked to), I’ve allowed myself to internalize what was said. So much so that it would make me physically ill. I would ruminate and go over the conversation time and time again. Endlessly. Incessantly. When in reality, I simply did not agree with them. It was a subconscious symptom of low self-esteem.

This pattern of rumination and so easily giving my own personal power away to people and situations, is actually a form of self-abuse. Therefore, it made me realize that no matter how many bullies and aggressive personalities I’ve had in my life, no one has been as mean to me as I have been to myself with my own thoughts and feelings. I’ve digested their opinions and beat myself up with them over and over again. Causing myself physical illness. How’s that for self-abuse? I would tell myself that these people were right. X, Y and Z did happen to me (even if I initially thought it didn’t) or that I was actually this way (non-specified “way”) which is why I didn’t have a love life. Or that I was doing something wrong which is why I was single (when in reality everyone’s advice about love has been shit in my opinion, by the way). I would disregard my own original thoughts and feelings and give away my power, allowing what other people said to take precedence over what I originally said and felt. I gave my power away so often, I couldn’t even hear my own voice. This is a classic form of thinking, acting and feeling against yourself. You’re not being your own best friend in your thoughts or feelings. You’re abusing yourself.

This is not to say that we shouldn’t hear one another out or listen to other people’s opinions. It’s more so to say that we should value what we think more than we do what other’s think, especially when it comes to yourself and what you believe to be true for you. You can take advice and hear people out, but ultimately go with what is right for you and your own happiness. If you’re living your life, being original, and not harming anyone physically or emotionally, why place what other people say about you and your life before your own thoughts and opinions about it all?

By doing this work and turning that simple statement around, it helped me to realize the real problem wasn’t other people. As we know, our outer reality is a reflection of our inner reality. If I’m attracting these people who aren’t compassionate towards me, seem to have the whole “woe is me” mentality, or simply aren’t that nice to me, then it must be because somewhere deep inside, I’m not so nice to myself.

Looking back at what I’ve written just now in regards to bullies and people with more aggressive personalities, I’ve allowed them to overpower me. The key word is allow. As if I didn’t think that my own thoughts and opinions mattered that much so I just let people say whatever they wanted to me and I never defended myself.

Interestingly enough, I went to a Medium months ago who told me I was a very compassionate person. To be honest, I never thought twice about compassion. I didn’t really understand just what that word meant. It wasn’t until I saw a video the other day about abuse and Layla Martin said that you have to surround yourself with people who are compassionate. It caused me to research this word. Why was I hearing it so much, why were people telling me I was compassionate, and what is the true art of being compassionate? What does it entail?

Turns out compassion is really the art of feeling someone else’s suffering as your own. Drawing love from your heart and wishing you could take someone else’s pain away. It literally translates to, “suffer with.” Free of judgment, simply being there for someone else with kindness and really feeling their suffering. By looking this up, it caused me to realize that I do tend to have compassion towards other people A LOT more than I ever knew I did. I take other people’s situations and hurts on as my own. But a recent unfortunate encounter my friend experienced – which I too experienced in the past – made me see that ONE: Everyone heals differently but also TWO: many times two people can go through the same exact thing and you can act super compassionately towards them, offering up your comfort and love and really think of all the ways you can participate in their healing, yet meanwhile they won’t do the same for you…although you are both experiencing the same. It didn’t hurt me or bother me but it did cause me to question the situation at hand. Why is it that when I went through the situation, this persons reaction was more so, “I’m here for you but other than that you need to get over it.” But when she went through it, I was so focused on her suffering and her pain. Maybe to an unhealthy extent. I took it on as my own.

I’ll continue to do this. Being compassionate isn’t something you should be if you’re seeking the same return treatment or emotions. We should act compassionately and kindly simply because the world needs more of both. No expectations or results returned necessary.

It’s just a bit discouraging to realize that you can be super compassionate towards someone who doesn’t really put enough energy into your friendship the way you wish they would. However, everyone’s different and we are all human. So let me not place so much emphasis on this observation. It just is what it is. I still love her with all my heart and will continue to give out loving energy towards her healing as my sister. And yet it speaks volumes about my relationship to myself.

The aforementioned statement about wanting others to be more compassionate towards me, turns around to: “I want to be more compassionate towards myself.” Everything is this cycle that leads back to me. Once again, my outer reality is a mirror of my inner reality. If I want more compassion, I need to have that for myself. And even if my outer reality was indeed not a reflection of my inner reality, I still need to have compassion for myself. These past few weeks have shown me that I really can only be my own best friend and treat myself the way I want to be treated or loved the way I want to be loved.

No one else.

I’ve compiled a list of things I want to do by myself to fall more in love with me. It’s a journey that will require a lot of alone time, but I think I’m more than ready to just take the plunge and go for it. Be alone and take myself out on dates. I’m not going to settle for just any guy just because I want to be with someone and I’m not going to hang out with just any person just because I may feel lonely. My time is precious and I can’t spend it with people who don’t honor and respect me the way I do to myself.

Self-compassion is a real journey I will embark on, but I have a feeling it will be a really great one.


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