Being kind starts with yourself

Jonni Pollard | March 8 2015


Compassion - feeling or showing sympathy and concern for yourself and others

Being compassionate is your natural state of being. Compassion is expressed in your sweet kind-hearted concern for the wellbeing of yourself and others.

Most people, when they think about compassion, immeditaly think of others. However, in order for it to be a natural expression, you must first be compassionate to yourself.

This is easier said than done mind you, as most people on a daily basis are experiencing an internal dialogue that is self-critical, self-judgemental, self-disapproving and unkind.

This dialogue lingers in the background with its opinions of how you’re not good enough, aren’t smart enough, stupid for saying certain things, aren’t beautiful enough, blah blah blah. 

It’s quite common to become conditioned by this negative chatter of the mind. You believe it’s real, and as a result, it influences everything you think, say and do. It can be quite confronting to stop and really listen to this constant mind-talk and see just how much negativity, judgement, disapproval, self-doubt and prejudice there is.

If you’re experiencing this negative internal dialogue, the good news is this nonsense isn’t actually you. It’s simply a by-product of a stressed out nervous system, which causes the mind to go into unnatural overdrive. And there’s an easy way of retraining yourself out of these negative tendencies, revealing your natural compassionate nature.

When you regularly meditate, your thinking mind is exposed to your natural state of Being. In this state, you may effortlessly feel deep waves of compassionate loving kindness toward yourself and others. With regular practice you recondition the mind to identify with your natural state of Being and are more easily able to observe the unnatural tendencies of your mind that criticises, mistrusts and judges.

The common report is that over time, your capacity to be present increases, as does your ability to listen to both yourself and everyone you engage with. You begin to notice how preoccupied you have been with the chitter-chatter inside your head and how up till now you haven’t really been giving the fullness of your attention. 

You notice that when you do give more of your attention and actually listen, a beautiful feeling of compassion arises, which gives you the ability to relate to others in a deeper way. You feel a strong connection to them and their experiences. Spontaneously, in moments when it’s needed, you have the perfect words to say that make them feel like they have been understood and that they’re lovable.

These simple but deeply meaningful interactions become the highlight of your day and you recognise that you are in fact able to have this kind of connection with almost everyone you meet. Being soft, sincere, open, kind, non-judgemental, caring, and having your fullest attention on someone else when they are talking to you, truly desiring to hear what they have to say, causes a deep response of reciprocity. After a short time you get really good at this and life becomes a rich tapestry of sincere meaningful interactions based on a genuine desire to connect. The very thing we crave the most.