"It is lack of love for ourselves that inhibits our compassion towards others. If we make friends with ourselves, then there is no obstacle to opening our hearths and minds to others"
Sometimes its easy to confuse self-love with conceit. We feel that by saying, "I love me for who I truly am" we are conveying to others we somehow feel superior to them.
First we must understand that when we rely solely on others opinions of our lives, we become slaves to that society. By refusing to trust ourselves or to love ourselves we lose who we really are and morph into a hodge podge of others personalities and beliefs
Through all of our personal strengths and weaknesses we become our own perfect and special being. There is no single perfect person in this world, it is the specific parts of us that allow us to be special.
Second, once we accept ourselves, and love ourselves for the person we are we can than turn our compassion to those around us. We can spread our compassion throughout the world one person at a time.
"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion."
- Dalai Lama
If you don't all ready have a regular place to practice meditation, find a quiet spot in your house, and if your home is much like mine - let your family know that you will be meditating for the next half hour to hour.
(*Note: If this is your first time meditating, begin with a five minute session, and then each day add one minute to your practice until you reach the amount of time you would like to meditate.)
Begin by finding a comfortable seat, you will be in this position for a longer period of time, so be sure the position you choose is one that won't be cutting the circulation off to your legs in (and if your legs do fall asleep - don't worry - finish the meditation and you'll be just fine. Promise.)
Place your hands on your knees with your palms facing upwards - open to receive as well as give the compassion we all so desire. Then draw your attention to your breathing. Counting from one to ten. Each number for one full inhalation and exhalation. Letting each breath to carry away your thoughts and worries. Allowing your mind to clear until it is quiet.
Once you feel you're ready begin, with each breath, stating thinking or chanting aloud - "I am compassion. I am self-love."
You are compassion, you are self-love and you are a special being just like all others around you.
Begin by making your way into Warrior One, lower your hands behind your back clasping the fingers together. Roll your shoulders onto your back as you straighten your arms and then - exhale - folding forward bowing humbly to the world around you and bringing yourself closer together.
To bow down and come inside yourself, or to bow down to those who are around is we can find a new path in life. A path filled with truth and honesty. A path that allows our true and special self to shine through into this world.
Compassion is not a flaw, just as being human is not a flaw - it is a gift. Life is a gift, and one we only have for a short time. So chose to spend that time in a way that will help those around your, and at the same time help yourself.
I bring my hands together at my heart and say to you namaste. The spirit and the light that is in you, which is also in me.
"At the end of the day, love and compassion will win. "