“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
The holiday season has officially begun. For me this time of year brings up a lot of emotions. The light side and the shadow side. It is all about spending time with those you love, showing your gratitude with gifts and celebrating with large meals. At the same time, we can also feel overwhelmed by the abundance of family time, loneliness, pain and stress we feel.
I believe we experience both sides for a reason. The contrast of light and shadow allows us to grow, learn and heal. Our journey’s deepen and expand with each up and down. This happens throughout the year but the holidays often bring everything to the surface.
Though, we cannot control and fix life so everything works out perfectly. I want to share a beautiful teaching (and gift you can give yourself) that can support you during this time of year.
For me, the greatest gift for all is SELF-COMPASSION. Self-compassion means you turn all the love, support, and acceptance you graciously give to others, inwards to yourself. There is a loving kindness, gentleness and awareness that is present when you are self-compassionate.
I used to find it much easier to give love to others than it is to give it to myself. For years, I didn’t realize I did this, I couldn’t accept myself, what was happening in my journey and what was happening to those I loved. Instead I was resisting every moment of it.
Dr. Kristen Neff explains the human condition and self-compassion beautifully with this quote:
“You will encounter frustrations, losses will occur, you will make mistakes, bump up against your limitations, fall short of your ideals. This is the human condition, a reality shared by all of us. The more you open your heart to this reality instead of constantly fighting against it, the more you will be able to feel compassion for yourself and all your fellow humans in the experience of life.”
One way to begin this journey to self-compassion is to accept that pain is a part of the human experience. Rather than scold yourself for why things aren’t working out differently; release the resistance and find peace in knowing that we all share this reality.
Give yourself this gift this year – start your days with self-compassion.
1. Notice the way you speak to yourself in your head. Is it the voice of critic, judgment or love?
2. Practice loving yourself by saying “I love you” to yourself and treating yourself with the love and respect that you treat others with.
3. Begin to forgive and accept that the pain (just like the joy) is a part of the human experience.
I hope this message supports you during the holidays and always. May you begin to cultivate a sense of self-compassion and love for yourself no matter what situation you’re facing. With self-compassion, your love for all magnifies as will your joy. Happy Holidays and God Bless.