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My Meditative Moments

Be Kind to Yourself

by meditative - October 18th, 2015.
Filed under: Insights for Mindful Intelligence, Zen Henry.

In our Western society, we tend to be driven doers– striving to work harder- to win- to succeed- to be the best. Often, we hold our self-worth in the accomplishments of outperforming others. As over-achievers, we are hard-wired to be highly competitive and highly self-critical when we don’t measure up. Bound by perpetual comparison to others, we may begin to become habitually insecure, anxious, defensive, and disconnected by our own ‘inner critic’ that routinely ‘sounds off’ from within.

Unlike self-criticism… deliberate acts of self-compassion are a form of intrinsic care and concern for ourselves much like we would readily offer to a friend. Self-compassion is genuine kindness and understanding of our shortfalls and failures as simply part of something ‘bigger’ than our immediate success. The self-care we give to ourselves can empower us to learn from our mistakes- to be more resilient- and to grow from them. The non-judgment and empathy we show ourselves especially in challenging and painful times can help us to be more productive- more persevering- happier- and ultimately more successful.

Self-compassion is a heart-felt attitude that allows us to remain strong and steady in the face of our imperfection. With a gentle and understanding mindset, we can openly embrace and accept what routinely challenges us. We can be calm, with a balanced emotional perspective as we clearly hold our thoughts and feelings about life’s inevitable difficulties in the energy of mindfulness.

Human imperfections and vulnerabilities are inherent to us all regardless of the relative success and achievement we may have realized in our lives. Being kind to ourselves- and offering self-compassion only helps to bring clearer acknowledgment and understanding to the inadequacies we all share in living and developing as human beings.

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