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  • Susan Pattis

Why Is Self-Compassion Important to You? (Part X)



Self-compassion is an outcome, not an input. When we see the rise and fall of our emotions and pains, we will see and understand its rise and fall in others. Humans are born with a natural aptitude for compassion, empathy, and kindness. It is the fundamental nature of being a human. Some people’s compassion aptitude shuts off or is weakened due to specific events, life incidents, or complex experiences in childhood or adult life. We often see people with unconscious self-defense mechanisms or unconscious bitterness due to particular suffering or mental trauma.


Individuals might not be aware of it if traumatic events occurred in early childhood, where even the memory of it is swallowed up by unconsciousness due to our innate self-defense mechanism. The unconscious impact of self-denial is very much present, oppressing or muting our natural compassion toward ourselves and others. Hence, people with unconscious defense mechanisms carry on in life with a certain detachment towards others and to themselves.


However, self-compassion and compassion aptitude does not disappear in humans. It is with us and within us eternally. It is part of our beating heart. Once we heal the part of us that is blocking our compassion and self-compassion, it will bloom back to its wholeness, our true identity. Realizing the truth about our compassionate nature is part of our life purpose because compassion for ourselves and others can set us free forever. We all deserve a life in wholeness once we find the road back to our hearts. Listening to the voice of your heart is the best way to find the loving path to truth and happiness because your heart will not lie to you. Trust the message from your heart to experience and live a whole and joyful life.


You can treat self-compassion as a snack when you feel hungry. Practicing self-compassion and compassion helps us to understand our own needs and to take good care of ourselves and others rather than ignoring or denying empathy. “Eight hours working at the nursing home in Pasadena exhausts me and I need to take care of myself with loving kindness and self-compassion," said a caretaker a few years ago. Caring for others without caring for ourselves can result in exhaustion or burnout. We can do better for others if we take good care of ourselves first. In Buddhism’s teachings, humans should have compassion for all beings, including ourselves. “My wife came home yesterday after caring for her mother who was dying of liver cancer in New York. She could hardly hug me because she was so exhausted. I now understand what you mean by being burned-out and by self-compassion,” a reader stated in an email.


Disappointment is a constant variable in our lives. Instead of saying be strong and brave at the next disappointing event, or when you hit rock bottom again, please be compassionate and humble. Life is about trying to learn or relearn to love yourself and others, to forgive yourself and others, and to let it go no matter what is holding you back or down. You will be the one who laughs at last if you are still grateful and positive when you are refused, hurt, or humiliated. It is you; you are the only one who can let the light conquer the dark to allow yourself to shine your way to happiness. Please do not give up this precious life on planet earth. For your authentic life to live and love, please take the chance to open your heart again for compassion and self-compassion towards yourself and to others.

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