I am grateful that compassion is part of my spiritual practice. I’ve become a stronger person since I started to relate to people’s pain without trying to fix them or make things better, but just listening and nodding like telling them, “yeah, I’ve been there too.”
When I started this practice of self-compassion, I had a hard time being compassionate to myself. I wanted to be perfect and get things right all the time, every time. Through this practice, I can now allow myself to be more human, to make mistakes.
The trick for me was to start talking to myself like I would to my then five-year-old nephew. I have been able to change my history by treating him the way I wish I had been treated while growing up.
I make sure to tell him I love him, that there’s nothing he could ever do to lose my love. I remind him every time I can that he has my unconditional support. I also make sure he knows when he’s doing something I don’t like, but I make sure he knows why and that his behavior doesn’t change my love for him.
Talking down to myself was something I did all the time. I was my harshest critic. I was never good enough. How could I have been if my goal was to be perfect? I had to know it all, be good at everything, and all the while making it look easy.
Now that I am more compassionate to myself, I’ve realized that I am more compassionate toward others. Seeing the good in people, learning to love them for our differences not in spite of them, has helped me become somebody I like.