Last night, while driving to the studio to teach a class, I was stopped at a red light waiting to turn right on to Peachtree St. As I waited, I watched a very old woman with a walker and grocery bags cross over Peachtree against the light. With traffic whizzing by her, my heart almost stopped as I watched petrified she would get hit by a car. It was clear to anyone who was watching that this woman was confused; no one would walk out in traffic the way she did. Happily, cars in most lanes came to a stop to block traffic and let her cross. Except for one car who furiously cut out from behind these stopped cars, blew by this woman and honked his horn at her.
Now, my gut reaction and I’m sure most of our reactions was to think, “what a horrible jerk.” But, recently I’ve been diving into the work of compassion, and compassion, like everything else, is only available to us if we practice it on ourselves. We can only be as compassionate, kind, loving to others as we are to ourselves. If someone has so little concern for the well-being of a clearly confused elderly woman, imagine how hurtful s/he must be to her/himself. It makes you pause before throwing out words like, “what a horrible jerk.”
So this week, I’m inviting you to join me in self-love. The most self-love you can possibly muster. Notice what you say to yourself all day long. Write it down in a journal; give your internal voice an external one just for a moment, and then practice turing those thoughts & words around. Support yourself, be your own cheerleader and treat yourself with the kindness that you deserve. Being a compassionate, loving person starts within.