“Having compassion for oneself is really no different than having compassion for others. Think about what the experience of compassion feels like. First, to have compassion for others you must notice that they are suffering. If you ignore that homeless person on the street, you can’t feel compassion for how difficult his or her experience is. Second, compassion involves feeling moved by others’ suffering so that your heart responds to their pain (the word compassion literally means to “suffer with”). When this occurs, you feel warmth, caring, and the desire to help the suffering person in some way. Having compassion also means that you offer understanding and kindness to others when they fail or make mistakes, rather than judging them harshly. Finally, when you feel compassion for another (rather than mere pity), it means that you realize that suffering, failure, and imperfection is part of the shared human experience.” - Kristin Neff If compassion means to “suffer-with”, what is it to show that compassion to yourself? When you notice your suffering, how do you tend to respond? Do you walk right by? Ignore it? Berate yourself for it? Or care kindly for yourself in it?How can you name the difficulty of what you are going through, knowing the pain or failure from the inside—but then allow kindness to be the final word? To refuse to be one more critical voice judging yourself what feels hard for you, but instead to join the ones caring for your soul in the midst of all it is holding? To join God in God’s compassion for you?

Posted by Jamie Bonilla at 2022-07-26 13:30:34 UTC