WHAT IS SELF-COMPASSION ANYWAY? WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE IN DAILY LIFE? HINT: IT INVOLVES GRATITUDE, WHICH IS THE CORE OF YOUR SPIRIT JUST AS ABDOMINAL MUSCLES ARE THE CORE OF YOUR BODY
Self-compassion is not self-indulgence or self-pity or self-deprecation or any kind of selfishness.
Self-compassion is gratitude.
Gratitude is the core of our spirits just as abdominal muscles are the core of our bodies. When we get our abdominal muscles strong, they support the rest of our body. When we get our gratitude muscles strong, they support our spirits.
Your abdominal muscles:
— -connect your upper and lower body parts
— -provide strength to the rest of your body
— -provide flexibility to the rest of your body
— -keep you upright
— -brace you to prevent injury.
Your gratitude muscles:
— -connect you with God
— -connect you with others
— -provide strength and confidence to the rest of your life
— -provide flexibility and greater ease of movement through life
— -keep your integrity upright
— -brace you to prevent taking offense from negative comments and circumstances
Busyness and distraction prevent gratitude. When we are busy and distracted, we don’t notice and enjoy other people, opportunities, and beauties of life. We don’t notice our blessings.
SELF-COMPASSION IS BEING GRATEFUL FOR WHO WE ARE AND WHOSE WE ARE
If we are deeply grateful for being a child of God and really noticing and deeply feeling the tremendous value of that blessing, how can we help but feel great love for life. We will want to practice self-care and self-respect. We will want to eat nutritious food, get proper sleep and exercise. We will want to make our homes places of refuge. We will want to feed words of wisdom to our spirits. We will want to think kinder thoughts. This is all self-compassion, wanting what is good for us.
The more grateful we are for life, the more we will love life. Loving your life is an act of self-compassion.
Just think of it! A child of God! Can we visualize ourselves sitting at His feet, eager for instructions and assignments? How do we feel about ourselves when we know that our Father is all-knowing, all-powerful and all-compassionate? How can we not love life? Gratitude for being His child surely will cause us to treat ourselves with compassion and respect.
1 John 4 says that “God is Love”. Since we are His children, we must also be love. How can we not be grateful for that?
“Love is your very nature — God’s kingdom is love. How can you come to possess this kind of love? You cannot, because it is already there within you. All you have to do is remove the blocks you place.” (Anthony DeMello, The Way to Love.)
What are the blocks we place? Fear? Ingratitude? Busyness and distraction?
SELF-COMPASSION IS BEING GRATEFUL FOR PURPOSE
The purpose of life is to learn and to serve. Isn’t it marvelous? Doesn’t it feel great? Viktor Frankl in Man’s Search for Meaning explains that purpose is what kept people in concentrations camps alive. Those with no purpose in life died. Serving others is so rich and meaningful and satisfying. It makes us feel good. Being grateful for purpose in life prompts actions of service. These actions, which bring joy and satisfaction is surely not only showing compassion for others, but also for ourselves.
GRATITUDE FOR LIFE PROMPTS ACTIONS WHICH BRING JOY
— -I get up early and do my morning routine to set myself up for a good day
— -I do the most important thing on my to-do list first so I can feel good
— -I strive to give my full presence to others I come in contact with so I can enjoy their company
— -I get outside because I find so much joy being in nature
— -I strive to serve because it makes me feel satisfied
— -I do afternoon meditation to refresh my brain and body so I can feel good for the rest of the day
— -I change any negative thoughts about myself/others/circumstances that come up to more kind thoughts so I can enjoy my day more fully
— -I do hard things because that makes me happy
— -I plan ahead, yet maintain flexibility because life is easier that way
Do you notice in the above list how these actions bring greater joy, satisfaction and ease to my life? This is self-compassion, doing things that bring me greater joy/true joy, not just a temporary buzz or dopamine hit, such as comes from too rich of food or too much time on technology or gossiping or overworking. When you enjoy life, you will love life. I love my life, even the hard things.
YES, IT IS POSSIBLE
“Can your love…really approach Divine love? Yes it can! The pure love of Christ…includes service and requires obedience. Faith proves our love for God.” (Russell M. Nelson, Ensign February 2003)
Service, obedience and faith are action words. These actions bring us joy. Bringing joy to ourselves is treating ourselves with compassion and respect.
DO THIS ONE THING
“…turn (your) life over to the care of that tender Heavenly Father.” (Selected writings of M. Catherine Thomas)
When we are grateful for Heavenly Father, we think about Him, we trust Him and we want to turn our lives over to Him. Jesus turned His whole life, His whole self over to His tender Father.
DID JESUS HAVE SELF-COMPASSION?
I believe His actions displayed His gratitude for Himself, for His Heavenly Father, for us, for His purpose, His message, His creations. His actions showed gratitude and respect for His opportunities to serve, for His potential and all the gifts God gave Him.
Gratitude is the key to self-compassion.
Abs are the core of your body. Gratitude is the core of your spirit.
Keep your gratitude core strong by exercising it!