I wanted to raise the subject today of compassion to ourselves versus compassion to others. I know over the years I have grown in wisdom in the combination of both, I won’t say that I have it exactly down to a fine art but what I will say now is that I am aware of balancing the needs and desires of both.
I feel what it actually boils down to is the capacity to set personal boundaries as to how much time we give to others versus ignoring our own needs. How many times have you extended your hand to help when you have loads to do yourself? I know I have done this before.
How many times have we actually offered assistance then realized, Uh Oh, why did I do that. We are taught to show compassion to others, at least in my time of growing up, to lend a helping hand to our neighbors, help out in the community, its what we did. I still believe in the compassion of supporting others, but have come to realize over a period of time that it is essential we are realistic with the following:-
- The time we can dedicate
- The capacity within us and our current situation to help
- How much emotional investment is needed and whether we are able at the time
- How much physical energy is needed and whether we are able at the time.
- Other things going on around us
- Other plans that we may have in place
- Discernment of balancing both
One of the things that I now do and have come to learn is to tune into how we are feeling at any given moment in time. You may desire to support others and agree but at the time you may simply feel tired, run down, have other things going on and it may not be in your capacity to give that support at the time.
Sometimes we may just simply want to give ourselves some well needed time out and compassionate love to ourselves. In society we are taught that to nurture ourselves is selfish, we are taught from a young age to always think of others, sometimes at the expense of ourselves. As we grow and mature and the wisdom of life sets in, we start to realize the importance of setting personal boundaries for ourselves and others.
I always think about a Well with Water. I imagine the scenario of me having a Well in my Garden which is for my use, but there is a capacity for the community to use it too because it feels good to share.
Imagine after a while everyone keeps coming to the Well and when one goes to get some water for them-self there isn’t any water left in it as it has been taken out and there isn’t any left. I feel it is the same if we keep giving, if we keep giving and giving then we run the risk of bleeding ourselves dry, depleting our well earned reserves and then we are forced in a position to regenerate ourselves so that we feel better again.
In essence though if we were more realistic and honest with ourselves in the first place and recognized that we needed to put boundaries of self compassion in place earlier, we would not then be placed in a position of having to say no because we simply do not have the energy of the wherewithal to do so.
We can save ourselves so much more time, energy and less stress by practicing self compassion in the first instance and also the capacity to support others to, so that we balance the two.
Next time you feel an urge to help ask yourself some questions:-
- Why do I desire to help
- Have I got the time or the energy
- Is it within my current emotional or physical capacity to do so
- Do I want to
It isn’t wrong to make some considered and discerned choices in order to achieve a healthy balance of self-compassion and compassion to others, for when we do we create a healthy situation for others and ourselves. Sometimes on a subconscious level there may be a desire by giving to others that we seek validation and approval, sometimes this may fill a void from not receiving this in our earlier conditioning. Once again as we grow we come to realize that seeking approval from others and outside of ourselves is a pointless exercise, for we will be forever disappointed. People will always have some judgment or other, that is human nature. The key objective is us learning to approve of ourselves and to feel a sense of satisfied conviction in who we are, being happy with it.
It isn’t wrong to give, but it is if you feel it is at the expense of yourself. But also it is important to bear in mind that we ought not to give to receive, but because it comes naturally from a desire to do so and from the heart.
With love, light, Susan, Seeds of Spirit, Spiritual Coaching and Numerology xxx