Sometimes, life lessons come hard. We may find ourselves experiencing unpleasant events several times throughout our life. Compassion for oneself during times of injury, trauma or hardship can be particularly challenging.
As much as I have a depth of compassion for others, I’ve not always been able to show myself that same depth of compassion during trying times. This injury was yet another opportunity for me to learn more about having compassion for my self.
Yesterday, a client came to see me and the topic of us both being Introverts came up and how we care for ourselves especially during stressful times. How we treat ourselves, are or are not there for ourselves, was also a part of the conversation. As an Introvert, I can be particularly hard on myself. I expect more of myself than I would of others when it comes to how well or quickly I adapt to being “derailed”. I see all the things that won’t be done, can’t be done (at least not while actively healing), the upset in home routine, how others end up “going out of their way” to adapt to the changes my injury has brought about, how others plans and schedules get altered and their time is taken up doing things for me that normally wouldn’t even be thought of.
In seeps a sense of “needing to apologize”… even when it was an “accident” and certainly not planned out! My client asked, “where does the need to apologize come from?”, applying this to his own situation. As we shared our awareness, we found it came from the way we were brought up, and here as adults, we were still finding ourselves at times to be challenged with this issue of somehow “owning” and “taking on the responsibility” of the accident and all that subsequently transpired. Even when it wasn’t ours to own.
Compassion includes a willingness to be understanding with self, non-judgemental, allowing, observing, staying with ones self. Compassion includes love. Pema Chodron has written much on this aspect of self care.
If someone else was describing my event as if it was their own, I could easily have a depth of compassion, remove any sense of the having responsibility for the accident and outcome of all the changes that would have come about. This brings an awareness that perhaps we are best to treat ourselves and care for ourselves as we would treat and care for others.
Be kind to self. Be gentle with self. Have compassion with self.