Counting the Omer: Day 24 — The Well Being of Your Personal Self
By Yanir Dekel
After being in therapy for many years I can definitely say that one of the lessons that were the most difficult for me was to find compassion within myself – to myself. Growing up, I was a great student as my parents taught me not to be selfish, to be considerate of others, as a basic rule of politeness. However, while I was looking at my own personal flaws, compassion couldn’t be endured. ‘Why is it that it’s so easy for me to be compassionate toward others and not to myself?’ I always wondered, thinking that in some cases the compassion towards the other comes at the expense of compassion towards myself. ‘Am I playing a martyr here?’
While knowing I’d like to change it but at the same time afraid to be seen as ‘selfish’ or ‘rude’ by society, I brought this subject to therapy, and eventually realized that in order to be honestly compassionate towards the other, as an act of giving without any expectations of getting something back, is only after I’m able to be compassionate about myself. Forgive myself for my own flaws and accept myself just the way I am, without being too hard on myself. “It’s necessary to tend to the well being of your personal self in order to be a productive advocate for the well being for anyone else,” said inspirational speaker and author Esther Hicks in one of her teachings.
The compassion that lies within the endurance, to me, is that exact thing. While we push ourselves to endure more than our soul might be capable of, in order to ‘be good,’ or ‘be polite’ or ‘be considerate’ of others, we might want to balance the limit of the energy we give out with our endurance with compassion. Think about where we give too much of ourselves in order to be appreciated and find the way to heal our wounds (that often come from the thought that we’re ‘not being good enough’) by practicing compassion toward ourselves. Because compassion toward ourselves is eventually compassion towards the world.
Exercise for the day: Think about one thing in yourself that you think is “not good enough” and be its advocate: try to convince yourself that what you have IS good enough.