Living from compassion means that you are loving, mild and without judgment towards yourself and others. This makes you love yourself, the other person and the world around you more. Everything you give attention grows.
If you focus your attention on compassion and loving-kindness, it will grow and you will attract more and more of these kinds of feelings, people and situations, causing you to experience more joy, love and happiness.
In this article you can read how you develop compassion.
The difference between self-esteem and self-compassion
Compassion starts with developing self -compassion. There is a lot of emphasis on self-esteem these days. Self-esteem has many benefits, you have more self-confidence, you are more empowered, you feel more optimistic, happier and have positive feelings about yourself. However, research shows that self-esteem also has many drawbacks.
Self-esteem has a value judgment in it. You compare yourself to something or someone else. Because when do you value yourself? How do you measure that? When do you do something right and when not? In our society you are appreciated if you are slightly better than average.
The danger is that self-esteem only arises when you feel better than others. And what are you going to do to make yourself feel better than others? Perhaps you are always trying too hard. Or make you bigger than the other. Or you become afraid of failing. Because if you fail, your self-esteem drops immediately. That causes stress instead of happiness.
Self-esteem is not constant
Your self-esteem rises when you feel you have done something right
However, it immediately falls when you feel you have done something wrong
Self-compassion has the same advantages as self-esteem, but has no disadvantages. With self-compassion you don’t have to feel better than others. In fact, it makes for a more enduring self-esteem, because compassion does not depend on the appreciation of others.
Self-compassion allows us to be there just the way we are, with all our pluses and minuses, when we do it right, but also when we don’t do it right. Self-compassion actually leads to better performance because we allow ourselves to make mistakes.
Self-compassion is very constant,
it can always be there, in good and bad times
By self compassion
- do you dare to trust yourself more;
- do you love yourself more;
- do you feel more hopeful;
- you take risks more easily because you are allowed to make mistakes;
- are you more open;
- improves your relationship with others
- you get a safe feeling and it connects;
- you raise your vibrational frequency which leads to more love, joy and happiness
If you are loving, mild and kind to yourself, you will radiate this to others. Self-compassion automatically leads to compassion for others. The other person can then relax, no longer has to prove himself and can be himself much more easily. Compassion connects and is permanent. And when you really connect with the other, a feeling of happiness arises.
How do you develop compassion?
Kirsten Neff describes in her book Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself three elements of compassion that help you to develop (self) compassion.
1. Loving Kindness and Gentleness
We are often very hard and strict with ourselves . We sometimes talk to ourselves like we would never talk to a good friend. While it is sometimes easier to be loving and kind to others than to ourselves, we are also often harsh in our judgment of others.
Especially if we don’t like the other or if the other doesn’t meet our expectations, or when we don’t understand the choices the other makes.
Teach yourself to be loving, kind and mild. You are good the way you are and so are others. No one intentionally does anything wrong. Instead of judging, you can also extend a helping hand. What does the other need?
Do not force your opinion on him, but ask what is important to the other person. In my training courses I find it very important to teach participants how to let go of their judgments and how to overcome their inner critic.
An important basis for these are the 10 basic principles of NLP. I believe that if we let go of our judgments, we are all free to be who we really are. That gives rest, peace, joy and happiness. Non-judgment is the second element of compassion.
2. Not judging and accepting that which is
You don’t see the world as it is, you see the world as you are. You only see your own reality and that is determined by your values and standards and what you find important and unimportant.
But there is no such thing as the reality or the truth. It is how you view a situation and it often says nothing about how the situation is. The following story, which moves me time and again, illustrates this very nicely.
A man sits with three children in an overcrowded train. The children yell, run down the aisle, climb on the benches, make noise, they argue and the father says nothing about it. More and more travelers are annoyed by the behavior of the children.
Looks are exchanged and some whisper to each other that it is a shame that the father does not say anything about this and just lets his children have their way. What a bad father he is, that he does not teach his children manners.
At a certain point, one traveler takes the initiative and the father addresses the behavior of his children. The father looks up blankly and mumbles an apology. He just got out of the hospital. His wife has just passed away and he doesn’t know what to do now.
It falls completely silent in the train compartment. The behavior of the children suddenly appears in a completely different light. There is understanding and compassion for the father who has just lost his wife and for the children who now no longer have a mother.
Judging lowers your vibrational frequency and it makes yourself and the other smaller. If you don’t judge yourself or the other, you are free. Then inner peace and peace arise and you accept what is. The other is therefore free. You give the other the space to be who he is. By not judging and accepting what is, you create safety, trust and connection. And this leads to joy and happiness.
3. Shared humanity
This means that you consciously know that pain and imperfections are part of being human. We all have our pain, sorrow, pitfalls and quirks. We all want to be happy.
We are all born with the need for love, attention and care. And we’ve all fallen short of that, even though our parents tried their best. We have all felt alone, rejected, humiliated, or abandoned. Or we didn’t get love and support when we needed it so much. And we all do our best.
We give what we can, what is in our power, even if it is sometimes little. Compassion means that we pay attention to it and deal with it lovingly, mildly and kindly without judgment. Pain cannot be avoided: it is part of life.
Every behavior is either an expression of love or a cry for love. I once heard this statement in a talk by Marianne Williamson and it really touched me. Because she’s right. When you look at people’s behavior in this way, it creates a lot of compassion and compassion.
If you look at it that way, you don’t have to take the other person’s behavior so personally. Often when someone irritates or angers us, we react angry or irritated. If you look at the other and know that what the other is doing is either an expression of love or a cry for love, you can start to react differently.
Instead of angrily replying, you can ask: What’s going on? What makes you so angry?Because under every behavior there is a need, something that is important. We are all looking for love, happiness, peace, joy, freedom and so on. If that need is not met, we become angry, afraid or sad.
Everyone has their own way of expressing this. If you learn to look through the outer behavior to what someone really needs or what someone lacks in that situation, you can react to that instead of reacting to the behavior itself. With that you step out of judgment and into compassion. The other feels really heard and understood.
Compassion and the Law of Attraction
Self-compassion means that you can love yourself more and more, with all your pluses and minuses. As a result, your limiting beliefs and your inner critic have less control over you. Everything you give attention grows.
That is the basis of the law of attraction. If you turn your attention to your inner critic, that is what grows. If you focus your attention on self-compassion and loving-kindness, this will grow and you will attract more and more of these feelings, people and situations, causing you to experience more joy, love and happiness.
What are you going to do to create more (self) compassion ?