Monday, September 19, 2011

Peace and Self-Compassion

Sometimes we are kinder to others than we are to ourselves. Many of us are more forgiving and compassionate to others than we are to ourselves. When we continually give to others without caring for ourselves, we may experience burn out or even severe depression.

So how to we show self-compassion without becoming a narcissist? Here are a few ways that can help:

• Remember that you are a beloved child of God, and that He loves you just the way you are. Just as a parent loves their children unconditionally, God loves us with a pure and perfect love. He cares about us more than we can comprehend. He loved you—individually—enough to die for you, that you might live forever with Him if you choose to love and follow Him.

• Learn to distinguish between guilt and shame. Guilt motivates us to turn away from sin and turn towards God. Shame locks us in fear that we aren’t good enough, beautiful enough, or capable enough—even when we are doing our best. Dr. Brene Brown writes: “Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging.” Seek to eliminate shameful thoughts from your mind and replace them with thoughts of gratitude and love.

• Celebrate your talents and divine worth. Remember that God created you in His image and that you are amazing just the way you are. No one in the world has your abilities and gifts. As you cultivate your talents and share them with others, you will experience inner peace. With that peace, we can become an instrument in healing the world.

Today, do something kind for yourself. In the process, you will be energied to show compassion for others. Remember, God asks us to love others as we love ourselves--not instead of loving ourselves.

The Dalai Lama, in his book How to Be Compassionate, says: "As we become nicer human beings, our neighbors, friends, parents, spouses, and children will experience less anger, prompting them to become more warm-hearted, compassionate, and harmonious. The very atmosphere becomes happier, which even promotes good health. This is the way to change the world."

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