Being compassionate with ourselves is absolutely necessary for growth. It means we need to be patient with the time our processes take. It means we have to forgive ourselves for any wrongdoings or mistakes. It means we need to love ourselves unconditionally.
And that's really, really hard.
We've all had people tell us that we need to love ourselves before we can expect others to love us. My teacher talks about how so many of us are walking around with a "half-full heart," looking for someone else to fill in the missing half. But then the problem is you have two people walking around with one heart.
So consider, if you could do the inner work to fill your own heart with love and compassion for yourself, and then meet someone else who has done the same. And then you increase your love because not only are you loved fully by yourself, but by another. And then it multiplies as you share your love for the other. Instead of two people sharing just one full heart (and being completely co-dependent in order to maintain that fullness) you have two people exponentially increasing an infinite amount of love.
Sounds pretty darn good to me.
And so, I continue to try to fill my own heart.
But like I said, it's really, really hard.
I feel like I do pretty well with it sometimes. Other times I think that I don't even like myself much, so you can forget about loving myself. And that's where the compassion comes in.
Ever since I was young I have been a driven perfectionist. Unfortunately, I'm a driven perfectionist with the attention span of a 3-year old with ADD. Being able to focus on a given task for no more than 3 minutes makes it very difficult to complete without error. Though the pendulum swings both ways - when I get into a task that I want to do "perfectly" I will focus on it without interruption for hours. Which makes things equally difficult - rarely can I dedicate such time to a project. When I do get interrupted I lose either my place, focus, or motivation, and I end up with something half-perfect, half-thrown together. (I'm sure my friends and family look at that description and think, "yep. That's Nicole alright.")
That perfectionism, of course, is very much a part of how I perceive myself. Think about how many times you have thought "I will love myself when..." I will love myself when I can get my acne to go away. And when I lose 15 pounds. And when I am on time and completely prepared for everything, all of the time. And when I have apologized to every single person I have ever hurt. I will love myself when I am actually perfect, and not before... and suddenly, I'm awfully far from ever being able to love myself completely.
Compassion says "I will love myself now. Completely. Without judgment or limitation." Yeah, still working on that one.
Compassion also relates to the topics of Divine Timing (everything always happens in its perfect timing) and Judgment, for which there will soon be posts.