When I think of the word compassion, I think of hugs, tears, open arms, family. I think of giving compassion to others. And that's what I found really curious. Why don't I think about being compassionate to myself? Why do we avoid thinking about and talking about giving love to ourselves. Well, that's something I decided to study.
There was a video I saw on the Internet a while back. The director asked these girls to write down things they said to themselves everyday. In the video, they say these things out loud and direct it at each other. The things they said were something like "You're never going to be sexy unless you lose 10 pounds" or "Why can't you look like her?" As I was watching the video, I was able to recognize some of the thoughts I say to myself in what they said. And it brought up another question. Why do we say things to ourselves that we would never even think about saying to other people? And this is not just in girls. We all struggle with being compassionate to ourselves and that is affecting the way we live and interact.
People with low opinions of themselves will often think that they are not worthy of love. This often leads to them being less optimistic in any relationship and to look for reasons as to why their partner or friends would reject them. They see people with a lower light because they see themselves in that same lower light. Of course, all things must be done in moderation. If we become too self-confident, other problems will arise. But to be self-accepting will change the way that you look at and act around other people.
There is a quote I love and it says “Stop hating yourself for everything that you aren’t and start loving yourself for everything you already are.” A lot of us will go our entire lives working to be considered smart, desirable, good enough by others but we never seem to look at who we already are. It has helped me a lot to look back at my life and to see all of the things I have accomplished. Maybe it wasn’t much in the perspective of society but that lense is a blurry one to look through. When I look back at my life and truly list all the things I’ve done, all the people I’ve met, all the memories I’ve made, I cannot help but smile a smile of genuine happiness. I’m really proud of the little girl that has begun to grow up.
Lastly, I want to list a deep and important truth that I feel we all need to realize. That truth is that we are all incredibly important. We all live different lives, with different families, friends, values, talents and cultures. And that is a wonderful and a beautiful thing. It is time that we start to see ourselves with compassion. Once we show ourselves compassion, we will be better able to serve and show others compassion.