Saturday, March 24, 2012

Having Compassion For Yourself

In the years I've been writing I haven't yet gotten to this topic, which isn't surprising given how much easier it is for most of us to offer compassion to others than it is to have deep compassion for ourselves.  It seems that the very definition of being a good person must include trying to understand that others have different perspectives than we do, seeking to forgive when others have somehow wronged us, and just generally taking the high road and cutting other people some slack.  I think we would do well to remember to include ourselves in this gentle approach.

Many of us tend to be harder on ourselves than on others.  I see other people facing challenges and sometimes acting in negative ways, and compassion comes easily.  My deep intention in those times is to find a way to understand, and to forgive.  I send my prayers out into the universe for the best to happen for them, and I know that it is done.  I try to remember to allow my best and highest to express in the situation, too, and know that it is also done.

I'm finding that compassion for myself needs to go deeper than that.  I'm seeing now that it's not wrong or selfish to focus more on compassion for myself than for others. That's a different approach for me, but I see the importance of it.

The more intentional we are about listening to ourselves, taking the time to hear what we need to do to take care of ourselves, feeling and honoring our emotions, and holding ourselves in compassion and love, we are a light in the world, allowing others to do the same.

When I step out of trying to fix a situation for someone else and focus instead on my own wholeness, I find myself again in truth where everything around me is already perfect, and there is nothing that I or anyone else need to do better or differently.

When I seek first to understand myself, and forgive myself, and then cut myself the same slack I would for another, I am holding a space for divine love.  When I shift my awareness to seeing myself, and the situation, as God does, there is limitless compassion.

May you find compassion first for yourself, and may this tool be a blessing. . .

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Asking for Help

It can be hard sometimes to ask for help. We feel the need to manage things on our own because we don’t want to appear incapable or weak, or because we don’t want to burden others. Or maybe we just get so caught up in pushing our way through something that the thought of seeking help doesn’t even occur to us.

There have been countless, everyday situations in my life when my load was made lighter because I decided to ask for help. There have been times when I probably should have asked for help but didn’t, and other times when I felt uncomfortable asking but did it anyway, and was later gratefully aware of what a gift it was to be unexpectedly held by another in my time of need. I’ve also been able to move forward from major, life-altering events in my life because I reached out and someone was there on the other side to grab my hand.

We all experience these times in life when maybe we could go it alone but it’s difficult, or when we just can’t manage something by ourselves. When it’s hard to ask for help, I’ve found that just choosing to be willing to seek help with something opens the door for Divine Consciousness to present the help I need in the most perfect way.

As the song says, “We get by with a little help from our friends,” or from our family, a stranger we encounter, a caring professional, or from that perfect passage that jumps out at us from a book we’re reading. The key for me seems to be the willingness part - being willing to acknowledge that I am confused and stuck, and that God in her infinite expression will provide the answer I need. I just need to ask so that I can be answered.

I’ve learned what a gift asking for help can be to the person providing the help. There is a state of grace inherent in caring for, and being cared for by another. In helping another we know ourselves as strong, and loving, and compassionate. And in being helped by another we are able to experience the truth of how precious we are.

May you trust that the help you seek awaits you, and may this tool be a blessing. . .