how I view and treat myself determine how I view and treat others. How many people genuinely love themselves in a way that is life-giving and inspiring? Most of us feel guilty about our shadow-side and and tend to suppress it to avoid feeling uncomfortable, depressed or angry. But by running away from who we really are we stress out our body and spirit. By denying our humanity and deficiencies we lose out on the deep connection and community we could experience with all the other people on this planet who also experience their short-comings and inability to measure up to the 'perfect' person they may feel they want to but cannot become.
Tony Humphries, an Irish psychologist writes about the 'compassionate intentions of our illness'. Sometimes the only way we can allow ourselves time out to be cared for is by running ourselves to the ground to the extent that we fall ill. This is a chance to review and discover what is really going on. One lady recently told me she has breast cancer for the second time, 'but this time' she said 'I got the message. I was not loving myself'. How many of us take shortcuts in order to be loved only to find out that other people can never know us as well as we can. I am an expert on me, but if I do not take time to know me, how can anyone else? Illness whether it be mental or physical is a chance to re-acquint us with ourselves.
SELF-COMPASSION IS TO:
* Write a list of things I love doing, people I like meeting/contacting, then do something from that list every day
* Facing my negative automatic thoughts and convert them into loving thoughts of forgiveness and wisdom
* Take time out to send loving-kindness thoughts/wishes into my own heart, my surroundings and the universe
* Be in FLOW: emersing myself in something that challenges my particular talents and make time stand still
* Reflect on what is important to me and go about getting it in a kind but assertive manner
* Take exercise as this stimulates the feel good hormones in the body
* Eat natural wholesome foods
* Allow myself to grieve for what is lost but also allowing myself to move on with greater depth of experience
* Build up a routine that enables me to fulfil my goals
* Nourish my spirit with whatever spiritual or social fellowship that encourages self-compassion
* Volunteer for good words for no reward except in doing it
* Treat oneself with good music/ films/ books
* Allow oneself to experiment, fail and learn