Self-compassion is something that many of us struggle with. We are sometimes hard on ourselves as we strive to do better or live up to expectations that we set for ourselves. It can be a heavyweight to carry.
Many years ago, I attended a talk on the Dalai Lama’s book How to Be Compassionate. I also went to see a talk by the Dalai Lama when he visited the city l lived in. I am not sure what I expected from those experiences although a takeaway from both was that compassion can be learned. Another was that you don’t need to justify having self-compassion.
In the book on compassion, we are taught lessons about how to show compassion to others. It also teaches us that self-compassion may be instinctual. I don’t think that this is always the case. Just as the book aims to teach us how to extend compassion to others it can also carry over to how we can show that compassion to ourselves. The section in the book on cultivating compassion says,
“After first understanding your own situation and then seeking to hold yourself back from suffering, you extend your realization to other beings and develop compassion, dedicating yourself to holding others back from suffering.”
There is no timeline for understanding one’s situation or easing the hurt or pain that one might be experiencing. It is a process that calls for kindness towards oneself. While in the process one can work towards extending that compassion to others.
Jackie is a Resident in Counseling providing counseling services in our Alexandria location. Jackie earned
an M.S.Ed. from Old Dominion University in Mental Health Counseling and has training in art therapy. In addition to her counseling background, Jackie also has a degree in the arts with an MA in Art History from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Jackie is a humanistic counselor who provides person-centered counseling in both English and Spanish. To learn more about Jackie, visit HERE.