Pain is not meant to be a life-long partner, but suffering is a big part of being human. It binds us as humans and is usually a catalyst for necessary changes in our personal lives as well as in the world. Compassion has the opportunity to be birthed from the pain brought forth. Yet, it is compassion for ourselves that we need to exhibit when we are in the throes of our own suffering.
When we are able to forgive ourselves, when we are able to give ourselves the necessary grace to forgive ourselves, we break open a well of love that pours out into the world, seeping into the cracks of humanity and spawning a new dawn for fresh life to awaken.
Forgiving ourselves can seem to be an impossible task for most of us. We may find that we sprinkle a bit of grace on our wounds only to find more areas that we believe we aren’t measuring up or where we believe we are failing. It may look like self-awareness, to view ourselves through an honest lens and experience a self-realization for the areas in our life that need work, but we must be cautious because sometimes, this teeters on the edge of self-betrayal.
To Err is Human
We betray ourselves when we berate our character flaws. We abandon our gift of humanity when we loathe our mistakes.
If our mistakes, at the very least what we view as mistakes, because let’s be honest, most of what we call mistakes is just living a life, are seen in others, especially ones we love, we have a tendency to offer consolation. We will say things to alleviate their pain, remind them of their worth, offer a different perspective. We would remind them of their humanity and just how perfect it is to be imperfect.
Think about the last time a friend came to you feeling low for reflecting upon a mistake of theirs. Even if you agreed they made a mistake, you most likely didn’t berate them because you know that doesn’t help. Perhaps you honed in on your empathy skills and shared a similar mistake of yours.
If we can do this for others, why can we not do this for ourselves? Is it possible that the more empathy and compassion for ourselves we practice we are better able to have more compassion for others seeing how everyone is a reflection of who we are and we are our brothers and sisters and they are us?
Perhaps we struggle with self-compassion because we are too much in our head. The conversation with our friend ends, but we keep the conversation of our mistakes with ourselves on loop, playing over and over.
Compassion must be a choice we make for ourselves. We must actively give ourselves grace and courteous goodwill.
We are human and therefore fallible beings. Courtesy is due, simply because of the fact that we are a creation of God and God doesn’t make mistakes. We are the very expression of God on Earth. Our bodies are the vehicles for which God experiences the Earth plane. That’s what you are, that is how divine you are. How in the world can you or I or anyone believe that we are less deserving of our very own love and compassion? Our very imperfections, the mistakes we make, all our flaws are as much a part of who we are as anything else. It’s what we do with them that matters and how we expand our soul.
Imperfection plays a large role in the expansion of our soul. It’s life!
Our mistakes are tools for learning more about who we are, why we are here, and what we are capable of achieving. Hidden beneath every misstep and err are gems of wisdom waiting to be discovered, seeds of our humanity planted in our soul bursting with life waiting to be discovered. Sure, mistakes can be painful, especially when we experience grave consequences due to our actions. It is here we must accept and fully surrender to the fact that suffering is a part of the human condition and it’s what we signed up for in exchange for immense joy.
“The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.” ~Kahlil Gibran
The thorns on the roses of life act as reminders that beauty and perfection are gifts of life. Life, like a rose, is not meant to be plucked carelessly. It is a sacred gift to be revered, cultivated, honored. We are delicate and strong, beautiful and thorny. We blossom when nurtured, cared for, loved. We blossom through grace and compassion.
Related article about self-forgiveness: Why You Need to Forgive Yourself