Sometimes, the easiest way for us to see where we are hard on ourselves is to notice how harshly we react to other people’s behavior. Here’s a quick way to shift your perspective while developing more self-compassion.
When someone behaves in a way you don’t like or understand try saying this to yourself:
Just like me…this person wants to feel safe, appreciated, calm, and free from suffering.
When someone does something mean or hurtful to you you might try thinking:
Just like me, this person can say the wrong thing.
Even in more extreme situations, when someone acts in a way your conscious mind thinks you never could or would, say:
Just like me, this person was pushed to the edge and acted in an extreme way.
All these responses foster greater compassion, connection and understanding of our common humanity and basic desires. You may still not like their behavior, but you can connect with everyone’s desire to be healthy, happy, and free from suffering, even when their way of achieving those things harshes your mellow.
This not only encourages connection, understanding and tolerance for others, it also breeds self-compassion.
A lovely adjunct to this practice is Buddhist maitri, or loving kindness, meditation. You can find a Pema Chodron YouTube video to guide you through it here: https://youtu.be/PRhkrQFbERs
Copyright Nicole S. Urdang