Compassion, the Underworked Muscle

As I was reading my current book, Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection, I came across a quote that held a wealth lot of meaning to me and decided felt compelled to talk about it, because it speaks so much necessary truth to those who suffer with self-compassion. The book has a section that speaks about the “compassion muscle”. Within he text of this section, I found this quote that was resonating:

“Self-compassion is like a muscle. The more we practice flexing it, especially when life doesn’t go exactly according to plan, the stronger and more resilient your compassion muscle becomes.”

When you show compassion, you are basically giving off positive and supportive vibes for yourself.  Far too often, people are way too critical of themselves.   I can definitely relate to this.  The saying “you are your own worst critic” has never been so true to someone as much as it is to me.  I constantly beat myself up about things when I should show myself more love and compassion about those things.  I find that it takes more from someone to show compassion to themselves, than to show compassion to someone else.  People are perceived to have such a great handle on their emotional wellness when sometimes, a lack of self-compassion (or an underworked muscle, per se’) is a big part of why people suffer the way they do.

What is compassion?

In order to grasp a better understanding of the concept from a more personal perspective, I took to the dictionary to find the exact definition of compassion. I found that “compassion” is defined as “sympathetic pity and concern for sufferings and misfortunes.”

Reading the definition provided a lot of clarity on why compassion is an often overlooked or underused level of emotion with other people.  Why is it so hard for us to show compassion to ourselves especially, let alone others?  I believe it is due to the negative perception of the words in the definition itself. No one wants to admit to the “pity”, “sufferings”and “misfortunes” part of the definition, when in actualiy, this is the part that humans should embrace!  Why is it so frowned upon to show this side of compassion to yourselves?  Living in the year of 2019 is no easy feat for anyone, and now more than ever, compassion is needed and support in every sense of the word.   I believe that in certain respects, a person has to show what is perceived to be the weaknesses in order to embrace being compassionate. It is very difficult for people to admit that those things are something that you are allowed to be vulnerable about.  So, I ask myself a personal question; how the hell am I going to start showing myself more compassion??

Show Yourself More Love

What is self love without compassion?  The first step to showing yourself more compassion, is to believe that in order to truly exemplify the definition of compassion, you need to understand the flaws and perfections of the definition; and also, embrace your love for yourself.  If you cannot have any love for yourself, then you will not have any ability to show compassion for yourself (and that’s real spit).  I don’t know how you can truly have a conversation about compassion without mentioning the self-love that is needed to even come close to allowing yourself that level of vulnerability.  You will not always have happy things about yourself that you can show love or compassion for.  Sometimes, when you are at your lowest, that is when these things need to show up the most.  

In closing, I wanted to highlight a few tips on how to show yourself more compassion and love when times are hard:

  • Don’t be such a hard self-critic!
  • Take time to learn from mistakes!
  • Know that making mistakes are a part of growth!

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Big Girl Moves!

When you have children, you never know what to cherish; what moments to etch into your memory, what silly things to photograph or put on video, or what things you should never take for granted. As parents, we try to make everything a lasting moment, but sometimes that’s not possible. Today, I had a brief moment of sadness, as i realized my daughter is truly beginning to own her independence.

So…

We usually walk Kynn up to the school and drop her off right in the front so she can walk from there. We do this for 2 main reasons; 1- it gives us the opportunity to still make sure she gets into the school, and 2- it’s quicker than the parent drop off line.

I remember one day, my husband told me that he took her through the parent drop off line at school (for reasons that escape me now). We didn’t think much of it, because she really didn’t mention it after that, until lately.

Lately, Kynn has been very adamant that she wants to “walk by herself” (get dropped off) instead of us walking her. We refused it a few times, which she wasn’t happy about, but finally, the other day my husband started taking her back through the parent drop off. Now, this typically doesn’t phase me because he takes her and I pick her up from school.

Yesterday, due to Brandon being out of town for work, I took Kynn to school this morning. On our way there, I called my husband and he mentioned her walking up to school by herself. She said that she wanted me to drop her off, and she was a big girl and could walk to school by herself now. I’m not gonna lie, I was a little in my feelings about it, lol. I guess you could say that I was being a little selfish about our moment to walk up to the school, and being able to see her meet up with her friends and walk to her hallway.

So, instead of parking and walking her in, I took my place in the drop off line as requested. So here I was, in the line we said we’d never go in (mainly because it’s typically long as hell lol). Once it was Kynn’s turn, she took her seatbelt off, told me bye and hopped out of the car. The principal was there (he and several other teachers will escort the kids to the door or the school) and walked her right up to the door. She didn’t even look back, Lol. She was very happy though, and that’s what’s more important.

I tried to watch her, but I had to keep the line moving, so I drove on. I can admit that I had a few mixed feelings about this. I couldn’t help it, my little firecracker is now becoming a big kid right before my eyes. She’s developing her own personality and space and she expresses how she want things done her way.

I realized today that time is moving faster than I ever imagined. We are technically halfway through her first year of school, and before i know it, she’ll officially be in elementary school. I will admit there are a lot of things we do not restrict her from or constantly hover for, because we know we have a very independent child, but me and my husband do still have a few moments here and there where we know we are needed, and we take advantage of those moments because we know they are becoming more non-existent than we are ready for.

I try to prepare her for the world and what it has for her, but the reality is I never will know what’s in store for her life. Only God knows what path Kynn is destined to take. I know she knows she still has her parents in her corner always, but I feel like this is one of those little steps towards a more mature adolescent. What I do know and look forward to though, are those special moments when she does still need me, and best believe, I’ll always be by her side for as long as she needs me. 🖤

Self-Discipline. Self-Love.

Lately I’ve been channeling more ways to love myself, before I put myself in the position to find the passion and love for other things. I feel like in every aspect of life, you need to love yourself in order to have the positive energy to be the best you can for your life (we all want to live our best life, right?). After realizing that even in some of the things I thoroughly enjoy doing weren’t even peeking me up, I realized that my overall happiness with myself, caused me to not even be happy about anything I do. So I started to look myself in the mirror, and tell the blunt truth:

“Girl, you need to get YOURSELF the hell together.”

And thus , we begin the process to self love and respect because I’ve been trippin’.

I watched a video on Will Smith’s Instagram, that eluded to self-love beginning with self-discipline. So I decided to look up what discipline really means.

Discipline:

a : control gained by enforcing obedience or order

b : orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior

So, with that being in place, I began to dig deeper into how one would need to begin a self-love process, and it’s very relatable to obtaining a level of discipline that relates to this:

“I’m going to enforce and be obedient to the process of loving myself.”

In order to love yourself, you have to teach yourself the discipline. If you do not have self discipline, how can you be obedient enough to love yourself properly?

This can apply to several parts of life. Loving yourself means loving wholly; mind, body and spirit. This can come from even the smallest commitment of obedience and change. For example, choosing to meditate for 5 minutes a day before bed is a small change, but could yield an impactful result, and even expand into a deeper and more meaningful practice with discipline and routine.

I realized that even over time, as I told myself “I’m going to focus on loving myself more”, because my level of self-criticism is through the roof; I really wasn’t truly doing the work needed to commit to that statement. I would find and adapt different hobbies, try to set my days differently, etc. and I realized I was really only touching the surface. I wasn’t really being honest with myself and figuring out how to fix those things. And here I was, wondering why I still woke up some mornings and couldn’t get out of bed because I was so dissatisfied with life.

Now that I’ve been able to really assess my life, and determine what and how I want it to go, I’ve been more apt to begin with setting up obligations and expectations for myself (in small doses), to make myself more disciplined towards living a life where the love for myself shows externally and internally. Without it, you truly cannot be someone who can love other things and people, because you will not be able to find the beauty in life. Begin your journey with assessing how disciplined you are to a change in your life, and that is when you will start obtaining whats necessary to lead the life you will come to love.

🖤

Things I Now Have Come to Learn about Life

  • There’s no age requirement on having purpose in life. Some people go their whole lives and not know their purpose. But find one, and hold on to it, no matter when you do.
  • You’re not always going to like the hand your dealt, the goal is to play that hand to the best of your ability.
  • Put more energy into your happiness instead of dwelling on the bad stuff.
  • Sometimes, you’ll be really low; lower than you’d ever imagined. But remember, you can only go up from your lowest point.
  • Smile more, frown less.
  • Do not put energy into things that won’t mean you any good. Your energy is too valuable to waste.
  • Tell people you love and appreciate them, even if it’s for the smallest things.
  • Don’t be afraid to be wrong. Being wrong is how you learn.
  • The strongest person in the room, most times is the person holding on with everything they have.
  • Take time to be still. Enjoy the present. Because this moment is only as good as you make it the first time.

Once I’m Gone

Just a little something I wrote, but never let the world see…

I tried so hard to be perfect for you,
Changed my ways, changed my look, even sacrificed for you,
I thought changing me would make you see that this was all real to me,
But in time, I found that nothing I would do could change you.

No matter how many nights I spent with tears soaking my pillow; our backs turned while I asked God why is this happening to me,
Why is what I thought was going to be the best thing that ever happened to me, turning out to be my worst nightmare.
I begged to know why I still wasn’t enough for you to find worth in.

I believed there was something wrong with me, in an effort to justify your thought process,
Put myself down, in order to build you up
All in the end to find out that no matter what I did, you would never change for me

Maybe you’ll care for me once I’m gone.
No matter what capacity that may be.
Maybe the emotional turmoil I felt when trying to simply love you will all make sense, once there is no one begging for your attention.

 

**Never give your all to someone who doesn’t appreciate it.  Work hard for someone who is willing to put forth the same effort as you, and you will then find the true meaning of love.

Time.

Stop wasting time.

Stop believing that you always have time.

If you feel a certain way, say it.

If you want to do something, do it.

If you want to be something, become it.

Stop telling yourself there is time for everything, or “I’ll do it next time.”

Opportunities are only as good as the moment they walk into your life; and if you’re not careful, you’ll miss the opportunity to truly enjoy living.

Can you say at this moment, that you’ve taken advantage of all the time you have in this world? I know I can’t; which is why I have to start seizing the day no matter what.

Life comes at you fast, hard and sometimes rough as hell. The key to surviving is living, with no regrets and making this the best life you can, despite the mountains you may have to climb.

🖤