Thank you for sending me this question. It is an important one.
Why are we human beings so hard on ourselves?
We are good-hearted, loving beings by nature, and even the smallest emotions, judgments, and criticism send our hearts into ripples and sometimes shockwaves.
So, the heart is the field for our feelings.
The mind, on the other hand, is very tricky. It always interprets our feelings through our past experiences, our filters of right and wrong, and our opinions and prejudices.
The mind is a great storyteller; it doesn’t care if it's telling truth or lying to us about how we are feeling; it just creates a story from what it already knows.
On returning homeward to being compassionate and kind to our hearts, we must acknowledge that ‘my thoughts and stories are just not going to have power over me anymore. This takes a little practice and persistence.
You can try this practice at night:
Sit on the side of your bed or on your bed. Think of all the people who have been important to you in your life. Feel a sense of love and gratitude percolate up inside for them. Then feel you are sending them your love and gratitude.
Do this for a few days. Then include other people too, perhaps someone you have not forgiven.
Now, remember to include yourself in this process. Send yourself love and gratitude.
This is a powerful technique. The secret is that it is the same feeling whether we feel we love others or are loved. So, it is for us to send our love. The more we practice, the more we become loving, and we will feel our inner walls melting away.
So, I don’t like to think there are barriers in the way of self-compassion. There are only stories we tell ourselves.
Create a new story. One that is your aspiration. One filled with love and compassion.