Living with a mindset of self-compassion has to involve letting go of judgments and a judgmental mindset. In my experience a mindset of self compassion is what replaces the judgmental one. We only judge ourselves and others to protect our own feelings.
Here is a very basic example:
We see someone struggling, in their life, with money, or a relationship. We want to believe that could not happen to us, so we blame the victim and say they are lazy, spending their time or money poorly, or isolating themselves by being irritable. We say they just need to “Pull themselves up by the bootstraps” because we desperately need to believe that we can avoid whatever suffering they are going through by doing X, Y, or Z. We want a way to say, “hey that can’t happen to me because they did X, and I would never do X.”
This is a belief that protects us from having to feel real compassion, and it also prevents us from the feeling of wanting to help because we have now blamed them for whatever situation they are in. This judgement protects our feelings and gives us a sense of superiority. It also disconnects us from the rest of the human race emotionally. We believe ourselves to be different somehow, better.
Oof. Now, take this situation with compassion. We see someone struggling, an acquaintance say, in their relationship. Compassion says “It is human to struggle. We are all fighting to do our best. We all struggle sometimes.” Compassion takes the belief that we are all doing the best we can with the circumstances we have.
-Compassion believes the best about people, chooses to see them, and feel what is hard.
-Judgment believes the worst, in order to protect us from feeling hard things (“That could actually happen to me because I too am human”).
Now let me pull an inception on you with this concept.
If you are sitting here thinking “dammit, I have been judging myself and others this way”
You can respond with self compassion to that with “Everyone struggles with judgment because it is hard to feel hard things. I have a hard time feeling hard things and that is understandable. Next time maybe I can try to lean in a little more instead of jumping to judge others and myself.”
This is a process that takes time. It is a practice, meaning it is something you work at for the sake of working at it. You expect to be human at it and it works because you simply continue to come back to it and practice.
Another beautiful way to implement this is through meditation, but that’s a blog post for another time.
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