As I turn to face the New Year I am hesitating less about pursuing my passions. In this life season I am passionate about the strength to be vulnerable and the courage to be authentic. Admittedly I am not always successful. And I have learned to look at my imperfections as unique gifts of opportunity.
Today when I look around I see a world struggling to breathe. Yet I believe in each of us is the ability to provide life-saving air. Each of us is a potential encouraging game changer even as we live life full out on our own terms. However critical to our success is our personal state of readiness. We have to want to be a game changer. We have to believe and say YES to the power within us.
That’s why I started out the year asking you, “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” I wanted you to dream. I wanted you to consider that impossible is merely a word to describe the degree of difficulty. I wanted to encourage you to walk in your destiny. Finally, I wanted to support you by offering you a cradle of thoughts and behaviors that have helped me make life transitions. I have learned that before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished. That is why my twelve thoughts all began with “let go.” And that’s what I forgot to explain…
My message had an agenda. I intended to encourage you to treat yourself like someone you love; to separate the things that are happening to you from who you are. I was talking about self-compassion. And that takes me to today’s conversation.
Self-compassion entails being warm and understanding toward ourselves when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate, rather than ignoring our pain or flagellating ourselves with self-criticism. Self-compassionate people recognize that being imperfect, failing, and experiencing life difficulties is inevitable, so they tend to be gentle with themselves when confronted with painful experiences rather than getting angry when life falls short of set ideals. People cannot always be or get exactly what they want. When this reality is denied or fought against suffering increases in the form of stress, frustration and self-criticism. When this reality is accepted with sympathy and kindness, greater emotional equanimity is experienced.
Perhaps most importantly, having compassion for yourself means that you honor and accept your humanness. When you encounter frustrations, losses, make mistakes and bump up against your limitations understand 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.
When you live self-compassion, you are poised to help reposition a suffocating world one relationship at a time.
 Self compassion discussion inspired by Dr. Kristin Neff
Until next time, remember,
You are not alone.
You are not your circumstances.
You have everything within you to live a purpose-filled life.