You always hear people say, “have compassion for others.” While I agree that that’s very important, have you tried having some compassion for yourself?
We mess up all the time. Bought things we shouldn’t have. Forgotten about important appointments or assignments. Said things we regret.
Even though it’s really easy to do, shaming ourselves for being human will get us nowhere in this life.
So what’s the alternative? Compassion. Be kind to yourself. Forgive yourself. Know that you’re human and treat yourself accordingly.
Being compassionate with yourself, including forgiveness, is one of the quickest ways to boost your mood once you start practicing it.
I’ve started practicing more compassion for myself and others before diving into road rage on my commutes to and from work. If someone gets into my lane at the last minute or almost doesn’t stop at a stop light or sign near me, instead of immediately feeling rage, I try to feel compassion.
I’m definitely not perfect (hello, I’m human), but I try to think things through before jumping to conclusions. Maybe they were running really late for work and their boss is very strict on time. Maybe they’re on the way to or from visiting someone they love in the hospital. Maybe they’re expecting an important phone call so they looked away from the road for just a second.
We never know what’s happening in other people’s lives, just like they don’t really know what’s happening in ours.
While I can’t control how other people drive, I can control how I react to their driving. I can let it ruin my whole day when someone weaves in and out of traffic and talk about how I was almost in an accident thanks to some careless driver. Or I can be grateful that I made it to work safely.
And the same principle can be applied to ourselves. When we make a mistake, we can chastise and shame ourselves into oblivion and make sure we never forget what idiots we are.
Or, we can take a breath, remember we’re human and forgive ourselves. We don’t know better until we know better, you know? There’s no way we can avoid making mistakes, but we can avoid at least some of the negativity associated with that.
Compassion is the key, my friends.
What’s one area of your life that needs more compassion?