Self-compassion as a Goal for the New Year.
As I reflect on the Buddhist teachings of Metta at the onset of 2023, I realize what a powerful tool self-compassion can be, especially when one is recovering from trauma. The Dalai Lama prescribes compassion (and more of it) as an antidote to anger and contempt. This is a tough enough practice to engage in within our relationships--- but its challenge is compounded multi folds when we are asked to demonstrate kindness to ourselves.
Most of us live our lives full of self-doubts and guilt that malign our self-esteem. Women are especially vulnerable to this status. We constantly judge ourselves against the symbols of perfection in our society. Little do we recognize that some of these "symbols" are judging themselves as well.
When life throws us into the pitfalls of hellish events like the death of a loved one, illnesses, crime and discrimination, divorce and family cut-offs, toxic or abusive bullies, loss of work, loss of home, and many such maladies, one of the best recourses to get back on a healthy track is being kind to ourself. This is often difficult due to our egos being our own selves harshest critics. When we are let down by the world, our core wound of feeling "less than" can begin to heal if we heed the Dalai Lama's words. One kind gesture to ourselves each day of the year--- one small step to pull ourselves out of the muck. And this practice can result in the kind of joy that is independent of external situations and people. Self-compassion. Self-love.