Do you ever find that your thoughts are at war with each other or your actions do not match your intentions?
It is an uncomfortable place to be, when you are not at peace with yourself. As you go through the day and you catch yourself arguing with yourself internally or putting yourself down. Stop and take a deep breath. Then let the thought go and do not give it any credence. If your actions do not match your intentions today and you judge yourself for not doing what you said you would do. Be gentle and quickly invite forgiveness in so you can give yourself space to cut some slack and tension in your mind and your body.
There is a tradition in the east that when you have acted out of alignment with your core values or teachings, whether through speech or action. That you think about only two misaligned deeds from that day and try your best to not repeat those in your next day. Then, think about two aligned deeds and push ahead to repeat those two good deeds and add two more good deeds in the next day.
In the west we are taught to learn from a negative bias, that we are inherently untrustworthy, sinful, and deserving of punishment. So we grown into our adulthood and we punish ourselves through words, through actions, self-sabotage, isolation, addiction, self-harming and an endless carousel of punishments.
But there is an different way. A kind way. A way that opens you up to the honest reflection of your misdeed with a door of compassion to walk through to change it. It starts by allowing self-forgiveness to come in and tenderly remind you:
You’re doing the very best you can, even when you don’t feel like you are.
Next comes in self-compassion to hold your hand through the healing, the reflection and rising. Compassion gives us the tools to ask for forgiveness of ourselves and others. To love ourselves without condition so that we might feel the light of peace in our hearts and in our minds–no matter what the day brings us.
Making peace with ourselves, starts every minute of every day. We are not perfect beings, we make mistakes and we don’t always love ourselves as we should. Every day offer yourself a bit of peace and compassion. That peace is transformative and it can heal the wounds inside of us that we have created and ones we have endured from the outside world.
The work that we do for ourselves is not fruitless or luxurious. It emanates out to the world. If we commit ourselves to creating more inner peace, the world becomes more peaceful.
Fight the urge to fight with yourself.
How are you inviting compassion and peace into your life? How are you cutting yourself slack? Join us in The Garden for a discussion about cultivating self-compassion and peace and leave us a comment below about this article.