Last week my live video on Facebook was about the one quality you need to create meaningful change (feel free to watch it here), and because it is such an important topic I felt it warranted a little more explanation.
Many of us are into personal development and truly want to become better versions of ourselves.
We buy self help books and go to seminars and hope that some of it will sink in and then FINALLY we will become the person we want to be.
I want to tell you something really important:
You can’t perfect yourself.
As Jack Kornfield says, “You can’t perfect yourself, you can only perfect your love.”
And news flash my beautiful friend: there’s nothing WRONG with you!
Yes, you might have some not so skillful behaviors like yelling at other drivers on perfect blue sky afternoons when you should be happily basking in the sunshine and enjoying your commute.
Or your impatience with your little one because you’ve asked them ten times to put on their shoes, and you’ve given them tonnes of warning, and now your happy lilting voice is turning into a gritted tooth monster voice and you are ready to lose your lid any second.
Or the fact that every single day you vow to squeeze in some exercise, eat more vegetables, and get to sleep earlier. And everyday you guzzle down a gallon of coffee, work through lunch, and drag your ass to bed far too late.
Or maybe there’s just not enough time in the day, and it’s a constant battle to frantically fit in “one more thing” resulting in you being late for everything. All. The. Time.
But these are just behaviors, they’re not who you really are.
All spiritual practice ultimately comes down to knowing ourselves.
It is by turning our gaze inward that allows us to understand our inner workings, beliefs, and motivations.
When we can see our unskillful behaviors and understand them, we can then work with them.
Often the action of simply looking is enough for some of those unskillful patterns to drop away from us.
But we can’t change what we don’t see, so the willingness to look is super important.
If we don’t, we continue to sleepwalk through life wondering why things keep happening to us, not realizing that we are making them happen through our unconscious thoughts, words, and behaviors.
Now back to the important quality, because it’s not enough only to turn inside.
The HOW we turn inside is just as important and it’s with…dum-dum-dadummmm…drumroll please….
No, I’m sorry to disappoint you, it’s not willpower, self-control, or discipline (although they have their place too).
Compassion is the super power which allows you to look at yourself without judgement.
Judgment kills any possibility of real growth and understanding.
Try this: Imagine a time when you were at a place with a group of people where you felt people were judging you. Were you able to be yourself in that situation? Were you able to be relaxed or open?
It’s the same thing within ourselves.
When we judge what’s happening within ourselves we contract making it difficult to see what’s really going on.
Compassion encourages curiosity and an attitude of openness allowing us to relax to see more deeply.
It is nurturing and loving, and growth can only take place with love at it’s core.
One of my favorite definitions of compassion also comes from Jack Kornfield:
Empathy + Love = Compassion
We seek with the intention to understand, rather than to judge or fix ourselves.
I have said this many times, and I’ll say it again:
You cannot hate yourself better.
The very nature of hate is diminishing. The practice of looking in with compassion and love is the invitation to become the fullest version of ourselves.
You may have heard of people becoming “more of themselves” and that’s what happens when we look inward with compassion:
We shine brighter.
Now I’d love to hear from you: Do you struggle with judging yourself? How do you maintain a compassionate heart? What’s your favorite personal development book, seminar, course? Please share in the comments below or in the Soul Sisterhood Facebook group.
Did you like this post? Then please share it with all your friends on Facebook, Tweet it out loud, and forward this to someone who needs this right now.
Thank you for being a constant source of joy and inspiration.
Love and Light,