Blocks to Self-Compassion: Holding on to the Past - Resentments and Blaming

Self-compassion Involves Self-Acceptance

Self-compassion is blocked when you hold on to resentments from the past, anger towards those who hurt you, and blocks openness to what is happening “in the now”. We can have self-compassion when we see our role in conflicts in the past and present. Letting go, allows us to move on with our life and not be stuck blaming others, when appropriate forgiving them, and/or accepting what happened.

Revenge, bitterness, and anger, gives control back to the person who you blame for your own personal misery. You are then engaged in “hating” which prevents you from being present and available in relationships in the now. It is a vicious cycle of self-entrapment.

Story of Ann

“Not harming ourselves or others is the basis of and enlightened society. This is how there could be a sane world. It starts with sane citizens, and this is us. The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselvs is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.” - Pema Chodron, Comforatble with Uncertainty

Poor Future Orientation

What are the practical applications of these guidelines

Mindful Thoughts About Self

How you think about yourself and your actions, colors, or distorts the reality of the situation and therefore limits the actions you take to correct the mistake.

Self-Blaming Thought – No matter what I do, it’s never going to be good enough, so why try?

Compassionate Thoughts - Stop being so hard on yourself. Stay in the now, and stop evaluating yourself through the eyes (judgment) of others. See what needs to be corrected, do the best you can, and things will develop and unfold over time.

Self-Blaming Thought – I have to be perfect to be safe and worthwhile.

Compassionate Thoughts – Progress not perfection. Just do the best you can, list what is good and affirm your progress, and address what might be the problem.

Self-blaming Thoughts – I should be better, others have the skills that I lack.

Compassionate Thoughts – Skills develop over time and interest. I have many skills that I can use to progress ,and I can ask for HELP with those skills that I may not have. I do not and cannot possess all the skills necessary in life – interdependence is good and promotes connection.

Self-blaming Thought – I am wasting my time and have no talent.

Compassionate Thoughts – We all have different talents and skills. I can use apply my specific skills to find a balance and comfortable place in my life.

Self-Blaming Thoughts – I am envious of others success, and I do not measure up to them.
Compassionate thoughts - I accept that I may have made some decisions in the past that slowed my progress. All I can do is do my best “in the now” and see all the good things about me and my life.

Self-Blaming Thoughts – I made mistakes, and continue to make mistakes.

Compassionate Thoughts – I am doing a good job overall, and learning from my mistakes. Mistakes are inevitable in the process of learning and developmental growth. I am aware of mistakes, painful as they might be, but determined to work on correcting them in the now, for better outcomes in the future.

The Mind as an Ally

Instead of the mind being focused on self-blaming, we can make the mind an “ally”. Thinking of your mind as an ally, not a blaming super-ego is very helpful. By strengthening my mind and practicing “mindfulness” I am making best use of my mind.

The result will be:

  • A stable mind
  • A healthy sense of self-groundedness in the experience of “basic goodness”
  • A clear view of the facts of life
  • An unconditional loving heart
  • The wisdom to know the right thing to do…

From: Sakyong Mipham, Turning the Mind into an Ally

A Positive Sense of Self Develops When You Focus on Your:

  • Talents and skills
  • Uniqueness and worthwhileness
  • Ability to trust and be trusted
  • Compassion for your self and others suffering

Photo courtesy of ragesoss

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