Often times when we think of compassion, we think of having concern for the suffering or misfortunes of others. We might also think of it as acts of kindness, like opening up the door for someone or giving up your seat on the bus. When we see someone struggling, compassion also motivates us to offer a listening ear, support and encouragement. In all these examples you can see how the idea of compassion is generally directed outwards, towards other people. Have you ever wondered why we do not usually think of directing compassion towards ourselves in a similar manner? It is kind of curious once you think about it. It is almost as if we do not see our own suffering the same way or how, when we are in a bad spot, we would expect to look outward to other people for that kind of energy. However, in a journey towards healing, awareness and growth, self-directed compassion is a powerful tool to have in your Self-Love toolbox.
Sometimes when we focus on growth, we come face to face with things about ourselves we do not want to look at. We might see how our inner voice is not nice to ourselves and others, we might awaken to how we have been depressed for some time and did not know it, or we might see how easily we get upset. Sometimes this is not fun to see, but that is why we need tools to help us through the growth and healing process. Simple self-directed compassion techniques can take some of the sting out of these personal awakening experiences, help you move through the experiences with more ease and build your Self-Love muscle. Personal growth and development can become a journey that you can handle with honesty and authenticity.
In order to use this technique effectively, there are a few things you need to understand. First, most people are disconnected from their bodies and their true selves. Modern lifestyle keeps us far too busy doing stuff or distracted on our devices for us to stay connected to what is important inside. This disconnection is what causes us to feel chronically sad or upset – or like something is missing, but we do not know what it is. Some people will say they feel numb or like they are just going through the motions. This kind of experience is helpful in some ways because it is what motivates us to take up a new mindfulness practice or embark upon an inner journey to reconnect with ourselves and love ourselves again. So first, it is good to be aware of yourself and that you might be feeling this way.
A lot times on our inner journeys we are focused on trying to transcend, escape, or rise above our egos, our emotions, or situations. And, some practice and muscle with transcendence is certainly useful. But eventually we come to a place where we realize that in order to truly grow and heal, we really need to integrate, not escape, these less-desirable energies, or aspects of self. That is where self-directed compassion can be very useful. We actually need to be in it while we are also above it.
Deeper awareness of our experiences, emotions, and inner voice is also helpful for using the technique of self-directed compassion. We need to know some of how we are feeling before we can deal with it. We need to know we are sad or angry, or what our inner voice is actually saying, without sugar coating it, in order to know what to direct our compassion to. Do not mind if it is not pretty or does not sound nice – This is not a time to be a people-pleaser. Be honest, be raw, be totally you! There are some different ways to tap into yourself to feel these things, and will explain that more deeply in step 1 below.
Some people do not want to say these things out loud for fear they will grow in strength, but the truth is avoiding them makes them grow even more and contributes to the problem of disconnection. Our soul is a bright light in our hearts, you can think of your emotions, thoughts, preconceptions and beliefs as layers covering up that light. When we speak energy into those layers, they will shift, move and clear. You can end up feeling calmer and clearer at a deeper level than you would normally think possible.
There are many different applications for self-directed compassion, and even some more advanced techniques that you can learn from a Self-Love Retreat for clearing karma or healing your inner child, for instance. Techniques like that are generally better guided or explained in person by an experienced healer. However, that does not mean you cannot start giving yourself compassion now. Below is a simple technique that you can use to get started:
1Tune In to Your Feelings
Try to identify any emotions that you are currently feeling, and especially those more heavy or irritating energies that are in need of healing. If you have trouble tuning in, try doing some meditation, body tapping, deep breathing, or stretching first, in order to create a deeper connection to your body. Your true self lives in your body, so a deeper body connection will help you tune in deeper to your feelings and what you currently have inside. You might feel sadness, anger, apathy, desire, confusion, fear, disappointment, awkwardness, excitement, etc. You might even have thoughts, memories, or specific situations spinning in your mind. Things like, that person said something I do not like, or I do not know what to do about that situation. Our minds are generally always spinning with something whether or not we are aware of it.
To use self-directed compassion, we need to know where specifically to direct our compassion energy. To speak to ourselves, our truest selves deep inside, it is generally recommended to connect to our heart space and/or solar plexus. One way to do this is to put your hands on your chest and focus your mind inwards. Try to feel the light of your soul shining deep inside. If you cannot feel it, do not worry, trust that it is there and know that the sense will awaken over time with practice. You can also try to imagine a candle flame in the center of your chest, that you can focus on with your mind’s eye.
3Start Saying “I’m So Sorry”
Focusing on that light, focusing inside, now you can begin the healing process. Focusing on your heart energy and knowing the feelings and situations you want to focus on, start using the phrase “I’m so sorry.” This simple phrase is a powerful tool for evoking compassion energy so you always start with it and you can use it for anything. Here are some examples:
• I’m so sorry that you’re sad
• I’m so sorry that happened to you
• I’m so sorry they did that to you
• I’m so sorry you feel hurt
• I’m so sorry you don’t understand right now
• I’m so sorry you feel awkward
• I’m so sorry you don’t feel strong
• I’m so sorry you feel weak
• I’m so sorry you are so hard on yourself
• I’m so sorry that she said that to you
• I’m so sorry he made you feel small and unimportant
• I’m so sorry you feel angry
• I’m so sorry you don’t know what to do right now
• I’m so sorry you are feeling confused
• I’m so sorry he hurt your feelings
• I’m so sorry you are afraid
• I’m so sorry you feel triggered by what she said
• I’m so sorry you forgot to love yourself
• I’m so sorry you forgot to connect to yourself
• I’m so sorry you are disconnected from your true self
• I’m so sorry you gave your power away
• I’m so sorry they took advantage of you
• I’m so sorry you forgot how powerful you are
• I’m so sorry you forgot how amazing you are
Anything is really ok, just start with the phrase “I’m so sorry ______”. Even reading the words above while focusing your energy on your heart space will cause a shift inside. Give it a try and see how it feels.
The truth is compassion for Self is necessary for your inner work and healing journey, and this simple technique is one that can help you cultivate that feeling. You can use it almost anywhere and anytime to help you deal with your tough life situations or emotions that arise. Plus, it is like giving yourself, your soul, your inner child even, a nice big dose of attention and love – a hug if you will! I hope you will give it a try. Many blessings and Namaste.
Learn this and other optimum Self-Love tools during your private Sedona Self-Love Retreat. Check out the sample Healing Retreat online, which may be further customized for you. Call 928-458-8593 or message us today and embark upon your nourishing healing Self-Love Journey!