How do we create a saner world, a better relation, or job situation? How do we work with ourselves in a way that opens up the space rather than closes it down? How do we create space for others and ourselves to connect with our own wisdom? How do we create a space where we can find out how to become more a part of this world we are living in and less separate and isolated and afraid?
This process starts with us. The first step is making friends with ourselves: learning to be gentle and present with painful emotions and stressful experiences. This means allowing ourselves to feel what we feel and not pushing it away. It means accepting every aspect of ourselves, even the parts we don’t like.
By cultivating self-compassion, we train to be honest, loving, and compassionate toward ourselves. Sometimes we feel good and strong. Sometimes we feel inadequate and weak. Without self-compassion it’s difficult to genuinely be kind to others.
With kindness and acceptance of ourselves we begin to open our heart, we let our heart be touched by the world. We know what to say to another because we have experienced hurt, anger, closing down so we can connect with others with an open heart.
During our day we may be able to take a moment to notice if we are open or closed to be compassionate, tolerant, respectful, and supportive toward another. If we are closed what could we do to take care of ourselves? Taking time for ourselves, rest a little, and do some exercise—and notice how that affects our relationships. Notice how these little things stop us from getting used up or angry eventually needing to withdraw.
This process helps us cultivating patience. Sometime we find ourselves in situations where we become afraid or angry, there is a rush of adrenaline occurring, it’s like everything speeds up. We can use this energy to remind ourselves to slow down, listen and wait: that helps develop patience. As our self-compassion increases we’ll be more available to another, more likely to be patient, supporting and loving.
Self-compassion is the key to increase inner strength, confidence, and happiness in all areas of our life. Recognizing this process will change our life for the better and change the lives of others around us.
© 2014 Maria Stella, PhD. All Rights Reserved.