How do we learn to be compassionate?
We talk about compassion a lot. Many of us know how to be compassionate toward others, and that is a beautiful thing — never stop making that a priority.
But what about ourselves? We often talk about self-love, and many of us have awesome self-care practices.
But despite these efforts, we still struggle to show ourselves compassion. Instead, we judge ourselves for every misstep, every wrong word, every mistake. We even get mad at ourselves simply for being out of alignment with our highest self!
If you judge yourself, check out this video…
We all get knocked out of alignment. We all judge ourselves. What matters isn’t that we never judge ourselves. What matters is that we forgive the judgment and treat ourselves with compassion so that we can return to love fast.
Compassion is a spiritual superpower
When you learn how to be compassionate toward yourself, you can access peace quickly.
You can be more loving and compassionate toward others.
You can show up for yourself and for the world in a more powerful way because you’re not pouring energy into self-judgment and self-attack.
Compassion is a superpower we can all cultivate. This practice comes more easily to some people than others, and that’s okay. Honor your process.
When you are compassionate toward yourself, you allow yourself to be vulnerable. And that’s incredibly important. Your authentic truth is your magnificence. Your willingness to let the world see you in truth is your greatest contribution.
What does it mean to be compassionate toward yourself?
For a long time I thought of compassion as something we give to someone else. But I hadn’t thought about showing myself compassion. I’d been talking about it for years, but it took a long time for me to fully understand it and incorporate it into my own practice.
I worked with a teacher who showed me how to be compassionate toward myself every day. She taught me a very simple practice that has enormous impact. It immediately restores a sense of peace. Now I’m sharing this practice with you.
How to be compassionate toward yourself
I recorded the video below in 2015, when I first took on this topic of self-compassion. In it I share a simple 2-step method for how to be compassionate toward yourself. I also break down this method below!
Step 1: Feel the feelings beneath the wound
When I witness myself in old stories or old patterns, or if I see myself triggered or wounded in some way, the first step is to feel what I’m feeling underneath that wound.
One very easy thing you can do in the moment is simply say out loud, “I feel uncomfortable.” Just giving voice to your feelings makes a big difference. For more guidance on this topic, check out this blog post on how to honor your feelings and move through them.
The practice of feeling your feelings is a fundamental part of my book Judgment Detox. In fact, the second step of this six-step method is called Honor the Wound. If we don’t honor the wounds and energetic patterns that dwell beneath our judgment, they will keep coming up — over and over and over again.
One of the most powerful ways we can honor our wounds and feel our feelings safely is through Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), also known as tapping.
What is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)?
EFT is a psychological acupressure technique that supports your emotional health. I have found that EFT is one of the greatest ways to address the root cause of emotional issues that live below the surface of our judgment.
The practice of EFT asks that you tap on specific energy meridians on your body while talking about the problem or issue that you want to resolve. Allowing yourself to emote while simultaneously tapping on the energy points sends a signal to the brain that it’s safe to relax. Our fear response, which is controlled by the amygdala, is lessened.
This practice will help you heal the triggers, wounds and traumas that live underneath your self-judgment.
Practice EFT tapping in my free Judgment Detox Mini Course!
In this FREE Judgment Detox Mini Course, I share 3 powerful spiritual tools with you so that you can start healing judgment and feeling better fast.
One of them is a guided EFT tapping video that will give you quick relief. You can turn to it whenever you need it.
Step 2: Be loving and compassionate toward yourself
The process of compassion begins with self-talk. How would you speak to an innocent child if they were coming out of a meltdown? Think about the loving words and energy you would offer them. Then apply this same degree of love to yourself.
Take a moment to write down some ways that you could speak to yourself compassionately. For instance, when I notice myself stuck in a spiritual assignment or judgment, I allow myself to feel the feelings of rage and anger, and then I notice that those feelings come from a sense of not being lovable. The fear comes from a belief that I’m not good enough. Upon realizing these feelings I take time to compassionately guide myself back to self-love.
The way I practice self-compassion is with loving self-talk. I’ll say something like, “Gabby, here’s your wound again. You’re uncomfortable in this. It’s all good. Here it is. It’s just presenting itself to you one more time so you can get closer to healing. Congratulations for having the willingness and the strength to look at this wound. I love you, Gabby. You are amazing. You are incredible for being able to show up for this.”
When I do this, my inner wisdom, my highest self, can come forward and can show up for that weak, wounded ego part of myself that is still unable to see the light. These simple words can catapult me into a place of calm. This is a practice of self-soothing, self-love and self-compassion.
In this video from a talk I gave at Wanderlust in L.A. I share another example of what compassionate self-talk can sound like.
Notice how moved I feel when I’m talking to myself lovingly and compassionately! Consider this the next time you’re judging yourself or the next time you’re confronted with a spiritual assignment. Simply go into a place of compassion.
In that dialogue, you will come back to a place of deep love, compassion and peace, because you’re allowing yourself to be wherever you are in whatever is happening. You’re not resisting. You are allowing, and you are trusting that the Universe is giving you what you need in order to heal.
Turn to compassion when you feel judged by others
When we feel judged by others, we tend to do one of two things. We:
- Defend ourselves and attack them back, or
- Internalize the judgment and feel unworthy
Of course, many times we do both. But this is a recipe for disaster. Instead, when you feel judged by someone else, your work is to make someone else feel loved! Do something kind. Do something compassionate.
Giving love to another person is the fastest way to stop the momentum of the negative energy and feel better right away.
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Understanding your attachment style will give you a greater sense of compassion for others in your life, and for yourself. And, when you take the quiz, I’ll offer you a meditation that will help you heal your relationship wounds based on your particular style.
Take the “What’s Your Attachment Style” quiz now to reach a whole new level of self-awareness and compassion.