I believe that given the chance most people will choose to be kind…selflessly kind. I think it’s instinctual really. Even the grumble bunnies out there, when put to the test will often choose an act of kindness when the opportunity strikes. It makes us feel good. I guess to some, that’s not selfless…but I’m going to […]
Incredible post! I was actually planning to write a post about compassion and the difference between compassion for others and compassion for ourselves, but you’ve really hit the nail on the head. Showing up for ourselves is one of the best things we can do, both for ourselves and for others.
One of the things that has really stuck with me through my years of therapy is the story of putting your oxygen mask on first. Anyone who has ever been on an airplane and actually listened to the safety demonstration (instead of just flipping through the SkyMall catalog 😂) knows that they emphasize that in case of an emergency, you need to put your oxygen mask on before you try to help anyone else. Why? Because you can’t keep helping other people if you’re dead!
The Buddha points this out in a similar way when he says, “If a man going down into a river, swollen and swiftly flowing, is carried away by the current — how can he help others across?”
Sometimes you have to choose to walk away from a situation that’s draining your energy and your compassion in order to keep your own peace and sanity, even if it means that you’re bypassing the opportunity to help others. I had to quit working at a refugee services center recently because the environment there was so toxic that if I stayed, my lovingkindness would have been shredded beyond belief. I was becoming someone I barely knew, so resentful and bitter. Walking away allowed me to recharge my “loving cup” and find more opportunities to help others, even if it meant sacrificing the opportunity to support this vulnerable population through that agency.
Let us all practice random acts of self-kindness, whether that’s treating ourselves to a delicious latte on a cloudy day or chanting for our own health and happiness rather than directing our energy outward. Let us all love ourselves with the fierceness of a lion and roar out for our own revolution!