Having compassion toward yourself is a good thing to keep in mind when trying to get congruent and/or deal with angry feelings.
This is especially applicable for individuals who are perfectionists or insecure and can get immobilized by their own mistakes.
Compassion is a sense of understanding. Here I am using it as a mindful compassion; seeing the bigger picture of why, how and where things may have gone awry.
Applying compassion in a situation helps the anger or insecurity become less palpable and more easily assuaged.
The stop, look and listen blog talked about a process to get into the moment and become mindful about what has happened (or is happening) and question whether the feeling of anger fits with the situation. Using the same process of mindfulness toward yourself can increase your degree of personal compassion. This doesn’t mean you aren’t going to be accountable for your actions; you are in fact more able to take responsibility for your actions, by having a better understanding of what occurred.
Consider the last time you had a negative interaction with your child or partner. Just as you might ask what stress process your child might be dealing with consider your own stress level. Perhaps you’re sleep deprived or overly worried about something or in pain from an injury – you have a lower threshold at which you will feel frustrated or lose your patience.
If you can feel yourself losing a sense of control, compassion toward yourself would allow you to not push yourself beyond your means. Give yourself permission to be more flexible – perhaps this is not the time to strictly hold the line on a rule that you know you will not be able to enforce. This is even better if you know in advance that you are going to be stressed; having compassion for yourself is when you say no I can’t do that rather than pushing yourself beyond your means. And if things have gone awry having compassion toward yourself allows you to recover quickly with renewed strength and resilience.
Knowing when to hold the line and when to be flexible, understanding the positive power of habits and the need for mindfulness, and having compassion toward yourself, these are all forms of balance in action and thought. Being balanced is a natural state. The more we practice using the tools of mindfulness the more we can feel when we are out of balance and act to return to balance.
See you tomorrow.