In this series of blogs titled, “I am sick of it”, I am going to explore the positive responses we can have to things in our life we are “sick of”. In this blog I am going to explore the idea of compassion and ways it can be helpful.
I want you to imagine you are sitting with a vulnerable and scared young child, this child is really struggling with something. In that situation most of us would become really attentive, supportive and compassionate to that child and their needs. You would use your compassion to do anything to alleviate what ever the child is struggling with. Really take a moment to imagine what would happen inside you and how you might respond to that child.
Now imagine giving that same level of compassion to yourself when you are struggling with something!
This might seem like a dramatic example and not relevant when an adult is struggling with something they are “sick of”. However this is precisely the time when you need the most compassion of all. Often when you are struggling with something there is fear, anger, guilt, sadness, vulnerability, shame and a history to what you are struggling with. These emotions and the history are very hard to explore without an adequate level of self-compassion.
Further it is not surprising to me that many meditative traditions have practices for developing compassion, you may have been aware of this (Buddhism being the obvious example). What you may not have been aware of is that many of these practices are designed to build self-compassion and these are often developed first, before focusing on others. This is because many of these traditions believe that your capacity to show compassion for others is directly related to self-compassion.
So over the next week or so whenever you are struggling with something, remember that scared vulnerable little child you imagined earlier and be that compassionate to yourself.