Reverb13, Day 19 Prompt:
The Buddha said, “You, yourself, as much as anybody else in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
In the past year, I have been on a mission to understand and practice self-compassion, which is sometimes defined as “extending compassion to one’s self in instances of perceived inadequacy, failure, or general suffering,” and what I have learned has made me realize that this practice is at the heart of everything.
How will you practice self-compassion?
I will practice self-compassion by giving myself more timeouts. You know those times when I let myself sit down and just let go. This year I found that I would try to work and keep going during those times when I was utterly flailing. And like I used to do when I was a taught 2nd grade, I would tell kids that were having a difficult time or getting frustrated to go sit on the couch in the room, chill out, and breathe for a bit. This kind of timeout wasn’t about shaming them, it was all about making sure they knew that it was ok to take a break when getting frustrated by something or someone.
I will do that for myself. It may be a few minutes or a few hours, but I will give myself permission to take a timeout when I feel like I am on a downward spiral or when it seems like nothing is going right. I won’t shame myself for feeling that way, rather allow the feelings to move on through and give myself some solace and rest in the meantime. Those timeouts may be walking around the block, taking a nap, turning off my cell phone, watching funny youtube videos, or screaming into a pillow. This practice of taking a timeout reminds me that I am indeed beautifully human and that I can honor my own humanity with more gentleness right now rather than later.