Do you ever find it difficult to be compassionate toward yourself and others? I wanted to explore this in the context of overcoming things that hinder me from realising my resolution to be more compassionate.
You may remember, (I only just did!) that this years blogs have been exploring 7 ways to overcome things that hinder us from working at and realising our goals and resolutions. I wanted to review the 4 we have looked at so far and add the 5th on this blog. I thought it may be useful to look at these in the context of being more compassionate to ourselves and others.
So a quick reminder of what we have covered
5. Avoid focusing on outer attainments, or the end result and instead focus on the ongoing feeling you would like to experience.
So instead of focusing on outcomes - things like weight loss, waiting without an outburst, getting this blog done, or even doing kind things, we can choose to focus on the feeling we would like to experience. This helps us with our motivation. Using the above examples, we could focus on ...
1. The wish is powerful
I sometimes find myself in situations where I wish to feel compassion, but I actually don't! Situations like seeing someone lose it in traffic. I am tempted get in there and judge and criticise, but what I would really like to do is feel compassionate for them losing it. This wish to feel differently from how you actually feeling is very powerful in helping us to develop compassion.
2. Just Like Me
Pema Chodron has a very helpful practice to reduce judgment and criticism and develop compassion. It involves saying to yourself 'just like me' in situations where judgment comes up.
For example if we see someone losing it in traffic, we can say to ourselves, 'just like me'. This reminds us that we are all alike and have times when our unhelpful habits, like getting angry take hold. Remembering this helps us develop compassion for them and for ourselves too.
It is important not to use this 'just like me' as another way to bash ourselves up, but rather to use it as an opportunity to remember to drop judgment and to be compassionate toward ourselves and others too. We are all susceptible to unhelpful habits.
Interestingly we can use this 'just like me' practice when we see great things happening too. For example we may see someone helping someone. We can think 'just like me' and rejoice in their kindness and yours too. Makes us all feel good!
We will look at the last 2 tips to prevent our enthusiasm for our best intentions from waining next fortnight.
Gratitude, Kind Regards and Best Wishes,