An often forgotten part of awakening is self-compassion.

In this blog, I share the importance of self-compassion in 2 phases. In general and especially for awakening people.

Phase 1: From must to may

We ‘must’ do so much of ourselves: Perform well at work, have things under control at home. Being a good friend, having a toned body (or at least maintaining the illusion that one will ever come). Have nice weekends and top holidays with our family, with relatives, with friends. After all, life has a deadline, doesn’t it? And what if yours turns out to be a failure at the end of the ride? That you didn’t make it? That you turned out to be mediocre?A nightmare for many people…

And when you wake up in the new consciousness… When you start to develop spiritually…
Then there is so much more… Then you “must” also practice yoga and meditate. Then you “must” read books about spirituality. Then you “must” visit teachers and follow workshops…Even more need, even more stress, even more planning and arranging to get it all done…And then be surprised that the busyness in the head does not quieten… That the emotional excesses of anger and fear persist… That it is not yet possible to be in the NOW and enjoy the moment…While the solution is very simple. And in changing a single word is:


From MUST to MAY…

Because then you can suddenly be busy with your career. Then you can make the best possible arrangements at home. Then you can be a good friend. Then you can enjoy sports and exercise. And that deadline of life? Oh, it will come naturally and no one knows when…Then you can practice yoga…
Then you can meditate…
Then you can read spiritual books…

Then you can visit teachers and follow workshops… Then life becomes magical! The awakening an adventure! To enjoy! Perhaps a cliché, but do you realize how many billion people in this world would kill for your job, for your household, for your friends?

And especially for the time you have to exercise, read, practice yoga, read books, follow workshops and meditate. How many billion people are only concerned with SURVIVALEvery day again. Day in day out…

You don’t need anything, you don’t need anything.

You may…

And even that is not necessary.

Phase 2: From fear to love


Ok, so far you can post it. From must to may. You get to work energetically and enjoy the self-realization process. However? Because you are completely fine just the way you are. However? And if you don’t manage to exercise or meditate for a week, let it go and pick it up again the next week. However?

And if you hurt someone despite your practice, have an emotional outburst towards your children, or are neglectful in your relationships, then forgive yourself and just start over.


Unfortunately, that is not the case for most of us. We hurt and punish ourselves when things don’t go the way we want them to. We must perform, we must not make mistakes. We say we can make mistakes until we make them. Then the whip goes over it. We are also strict with ourselves in our spiritual development…


Because we like to be good enough…

Because we identify with our performance…

Because we unconsciously want others to admire us…

Because that assures us of the love of the other…

But also because we have learned that that is how you motivate. If you want to motivate a child to do something, you threaten with punishment.

If a child crosses the line, you will be punished. You hand out a painful stimulus.

Humans are pain-avoiding creatures. It’s programmed in our brains. A survival mechanism.

If someone makes a mistake, he or she has to feel it and pay for it.

Societal mistakes are punished with a fine or even imprisonment.

When someone fails, he or she must feel it. Otherwise, they will do it again. Otherwise, they don’t learn from their mistakes…


And you use that same mechanism with yourself. When you fail, you must feel it. Otherwise, you’ll never learn.
However? If you don’t punish your mistakes, you have no motivation to change anything, do you? If you don’t fire your failure with a thousand negative thoughts, you’ll do it again and nothing will change… If you don’t meet your own standard, you have to feel it, otherwise, you’ll never get there… Right?

Not so…

Scientific research shows what spiritual teachers have always known:
People who have self-compassion in difficult situations, or in failure, are actually more motivated to avoid repetition.

Self-compassion leads to an inner drive to do something about your situation.
Self-compassion gives way to a deep inner desire for change.
Self-compassion is the key to loving awakening. From love, let go and let it happen. Not out of fear, control, and coercion… I’m not talking about self-pity or self-pity. But about real compassion for yourself.

What then is self-compassion?

Compassion is seeing someone’s suffering and having the inner drive to do something about it.

Not out of necessity or coercion, but out of love and compassion…

Self-compassion is having compassion for your own suffering and having the inner drive to do something about it.


Not from necessity or coercion, but from understanding and acceptance…

Give yourself some space.

Let go of the image that you feel you must comply with.

If you realize that life (and the awakening process in particular) is like a journey through a mountain range, then it’s all not too bad.

A journey with beautiful, sunny parts and breathtaking views. With brilliant views and great lessons.

Where you always meet new travel companions and gain new experiences.

But also with painful falls and dry parts. With heavy rain showers that seem to never end and storms that hit you to the bone.

Sometimes you lose a travel companion. Then again you lose some of your equipment.

When you see life as a journey, you realize that you can let go. May you enjoy all the beauty that life has to offer.

And that you may enjoy the pitfalls you fall into. From the pain…

Lessons can be very painful.
But in the end, life is about learning.

Also about healing, about sharing, about loving.

But especially about learning.
And enjoy.

Self-compassion is the key to lifelong learning and enjoyment.

Living from a Growth mindset.

From the realization that you do the best, you can at every moment.

From the realization that failure and setbacks are part of it.

From the realization that all people fail and have pain and you are also just human.

From the realization that it doesn’t matter what comes your way. That only counts how you deal with it…


Give yourself the love you deserve.
Allow yourself to make mistakes.

Set the bar a little lower, it’s okay. Let your process unfold. It doesn’t have to be already within a year. Ten years is also good.

Keep reminding yourself how blessed you are.

And enjoy the process.

Step by step.

And if you can’t enjoy it?
Is that okay too!

Nothing should…

My wise grandmother always said:

“You can’t do more than your best”.

And that’s self-compassion.

Nothing is necessary, everything is allowed. From love…



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