This past year, I had an amazing opportunity to take an 8-week course on Self-Compassion. I was excited, knowing I would learn some cool things that I could pass along to others. You can imagine my dismay when I had to repeat week 1 of the course before being able to move to week 2. "I failed Week 1 of Self-Compassion", was the victim-based thought that went through my mind. However, in reality, the teacher was much more interested in me experiencing self- compassion than being able to mentally regurgitate the correct answers on a worksheet. And, this started a now, 9 week, journey into Self-Compassion that was truly transformational.
While self-compassion is by no means a new word, it does not seem to get the same air time as its cousins self-love and self-care. While I believe it is how a word makes you feel, the vibration, the images, and the feelings it conjures that is more important than the dictionary definition, I did spend some time distinguishing these words. Self-compassion to me is a complete acceptance of Who You Really Are as well as your flaws, weaknesses, and wounds that you received by traveling through this thing we call Life. Self-Love is you ability to truly, completely, and unconditionally love yourself, knowing Who You Really Are as well as your flaws, weaknesses, and wounds. And, self-care, is your ability to take a time out, pause, and take a moment for yourself to re-ground and Remember Who You Really Are, in the moments where you forget. I believe Self-Compassion is the process to get to Self-Love, and Self-Care are the moment to moment actions you take to reinforce the mindset of Self-Compassion. They are all linked and create a process that leads to less suffering in this life.
I remember in my 20s, when I was trying to meet Mr. Wonderful, and kept having one let down after another, people used to tell me, "you have to love yourself first before someone can love you the way you want to be loved." It sounded like great advice. So, I would sit in front of the mirror and stare deep into my eyes and tell myself I love you. Then, I would look myself over and name things I loved about myself. As time passed, and still no Mr. Wonderful, I wondered why this process hadn't worked. "I love myself. I told myself so in the mirror! What else do I need to do?!?!" I needed to accept Who I Really Am and love that person, the one with the flaws and weaknesses. I needed to stop hiding the parts of me that I had not accepted and instead give them space and allow them to be. I needed to realize that the way other people see me is their perception, based on their life experiences, and does not truly reflect anything about me. These were lessons that were yet to come in my life. And, as you can imagine, when they started coming, just the mere beginnings of them, I not only found true love, but I found myself waiting to be loved by me.
One of the agreements of this Self-Compassion course I took is to turn around and teach it others. That is what we are doing in my subscription group and for the month of January, in Adventures with Amina. I am excited to take what I learned and what I experienced and share it with you all. I have seen subtle shifts in my life over the past few months that have led to more peace and less suffering. If you feel like you have made the big shifts and done the big work, I would highly recommend this course. Its like the tiny, thin, washer, when you are putting together furniture that does not seem to have a purpose, yet, is the one thing that makes everything come together in a stronger, more sturdy, more reliable way. That is how I see self-compassion. The necessary component that makes all the other components of your life work so much better.
Hi! Welcome to my blog, Lunch with Cinderella. I love writing about my life experiences and the fact that they may help spur some cool experiences of your own. If you are here, leave a comment... I read them all and love hearing from you!
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