Being Gentle with Ourselves

We must be gentle with ourselves. There is no good brought about through self hate, self reproach, self criticism or self harm. It is when we sit in compassionate silence with ourselves that we become aware of our inner dialogue and sink beneath it into a wordless wisdom that carries us home.

It is so often the case that we get upset or angry with ourselves about how we’ve acted, what we’ve not achieved, the time we’ve wasted along with a long list of other accusations. We may have been raised to think that helpful behaviour was created through judgement and punishment. We may repeat old patterns that see us doing harm and feeling the effects. We may feel stuck in an unproductive way of living and frustrated about not moving on. Yet nothing is remedied by anything other than being gentle with ourselves.

When we are gentle, compassionate, kind, connected, we are curious about our actions and behaviours and emotions. We sit with our feelings and thoughts and consider their cause or stimulus. We allow room for healing when we treat ourselves gently because we aren’t judgemental or defensive but loving and interested.

We reflect on who we feel ourselves to be beneath the conditioning and histories and traumatic experiences; who we are in our best moments when we are loving and being loved. We are turned towards health in these moments and the promotion of health and in health there is progress and movement and healing.

When we are tender towards ourselves we acknowledge our pain and we seek to soothe and heal it. We make progress by acknowledging our experience and reaching for a deeper understanding of why we feel the way we do and how we can best proceed. When we are led by love in this way we find answers within that guide us to make peace with our lives and move forwards with more care for ourselves, more respect, more patience, more forgiveness and more awareness.

When we are curious about our experience rather than judgemental about or frustrated by it we settle down into a quietness that lets us observe it. This creates a distance that helps us to process our feelings and understand where they may be coming from and why they may be coming up when they do. We might notice how certain behaviours do not serve us and rather than criticise ourselves for repeating them, see that we can choose another way and that when we do we gradually release ourselves from the experiences that may have fostered them and that they create.

There is no right way to live and we are always doing our best and yet as a matter of course we will harm and be harmed, however, we have the inner resources to move through and past these experiences into more conscious and gentle ways of living. When we are in distress it can seem impossible that peace and health and love are within us and when we feel far from them is when we need our own gentleness most.

Giving ourselves space to be heard by ourselves, noticing the feelings we are experiencing, reflecting on the reason they may be coming up and remaining in a state of non judgement and loving kindness when we do, provides the support we need to delve into what is causing us pain without dwelling there. It is a powerful moment when we transcend pain through gentleness and compassion because we become free of emotions that keep us welded to it and repeating it. Love heals all. Over and again we experience this and yet we’ll never stop realising it, never stop learning it. And that’s okay.

We are on a journey of remembrance and in the moments in between insight and truth we do feel pain and we do suffer. We are human. We need not be afraid of this but we can also embrace the spiritual truth of our existence that helps us to keep going and keep growing so that we move on from our pasts and through our unhappy experiences and do so in a way that is gentle and compassionate towards ourselves.

We need our own love, we need our own respect and we need our own forgiveness and we are actually designed to treat ourselves with reverence and care. For the moments we forget this, settling down, sitting with our thoughts and feelings in silence and returning to the space of calm and peace beneath them awakens our self healing capacities so that we are able to treat ourselves or seek help from a place of love and connection rather than judgement and despair and when we do this the results are care and healing rather than punishment and control which feel more natural to us, help us to expand and see us return more quickly to resilience, health, compassion and being gentle with ourselves.