If nothing else, we can all agree that we are living in difficult times. And after giving it a lot of thought, I have come to believe that having and showing compassion seems to be one of the critical attributes to overcome these hard times.
Compassion is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength.
There are many times in this life that we may question our situation, and that is okay. We may not immediately understand all the whys – but in time, we will.
For me, compassion is a religion. No matter who you are, whether you believe in God or not. Whether you are an employer or employee, a manager or a cleaner, job seeker or school graduate, old or young, single, or married. The essence of our existence is to love, show compassion. These things are not bonuses; they are necessities. Without them, we cannot survive.
Clear proof of your love to your creator is to sincerely show love to fellow human beings – as well as to yourself.
I want to touch on a few ways self-compassion can get you through challenging times. It is also important to note that our imperfections unite us, and no one is perfect. Hence, you cannot keep holding yourself back.
1. The golden rule – Treat yourself as you would treat others
In this time of tumult, we need to stop looking down on ourselves because of what we cannot do and the goals we cannot attain. I have never seen anyone call a close friend a failure because of a fault or give up on a friend because he or she is not getting things right now. Instead, we encourage them and tell them that things will get better. But on the flip side, we often slip into a state of self-pity when things are not going the way we want them.
When we have compassion for ourselves, it allows us to admit we have flaws, and at the same time, not let these flaws define us. Treating yourself as you would treat others can have a positive effect on every aspect of your life.
2. Send an email to yourself
I do this often. When I am going through good and bad times, I send myself an email. Acting like I am sending an email to a friend – I send myself words of encouragement. Over the years, this has helped me in navigating life’s challenges. I write about my mistakes, the qualities I have and what my present situation might be teaching me. I am sure you will also agree with me that in every situation we find ourselves, there is a lesson or two to learn. So, sending yourself an email sometimes can be the boost you are looking for to get through hard times.
3. Look inward and call yourself who you see yourself
This can be a bit tricky. If you have not found yourself, you cannot know who you are. For me, I tell myself – “Jide, you are a solution provider.” It does not matter how little the solution I am providing is. This phrase helps me to continually get back on track when I am lost in thought. So, when you find yourself thinking how unlucky you are, or how this COVID era has affected your company or income, remind yourself of who you are, and this will help you emerge from the cloud of self-doubt and negativity.
4. Love yourself
The greatest problem does not necessarily lie with the COVID-19 pandemic, but in the way, we treat ourselves currently. If we keep hating ourselves, the pandemic and everything around us, we will not be able to navigate this period and see the lessons we are meant to learn.
You also must understand that the present COVID-19 pandemic is not your fault, no one wanted this – but it is here, and I think it will be with us for a while. So, we must all embrace this moment and stop judging and criticising ourselves. Instead, love yourself and be grateful for life.
We must allow ourselves to practise self-care. That is how you can care for others. This single act of love for yourself energises your body and improves your overall well-being.
In conclusion, I feel our mission towards each other is to show compassion. I practice these things, and it gives me so much happiness. If we can remove self-pity, self-doubt, and self-hatred, we will be able to face this moment with compassion, sincerity, and ultimately, we will come out stronger and better.