Show Yourself some Compassionate Attention.

Don’t all of us need some compassionate attention from time to time?

We all have times when feelings are heavy. In these times I deeply believe that being too rough on ourselves isn’t in your or my best interest. What is in our best interests is attending to the emotions so we can back to living as productively as possible.

This is exactly where giving ourselves positive and compassionate attention comes into play. We can all use a little bit more of it. But we don’t have to wait around for others to give it to us, we need to make sure we give this gift to ourselves.

To Give Our Attention.

When we give our attention we are offering up a powerfully creative human faculty. It is truly no joke. What we place our attention on is where our creative energies will flow.

But not all attention is created equal or creates equally. The nature of the emotion and intention given through our attention ultimately decides the nature of our creations.

Our attention can create beauty as well as destruction. It can build-up, as well as tear down.

This is true no matter where we give our attention; whether that be in our jobs, families, friendships, and for the sake of this article, yourself and myself.

Self Compassionate Attention.

Like I said there are all sorts of different types of attention we can give. But in my experience, there is already enough focus in the world today on criticizing and tearing things down. Giving our impulses a little more positive attention can help us have a personal safe haven in a world that is obsessed with focusing on what’s wrong.

To show yourself compassionate attention is show up and attend to the reality of your present state of being. Not just showing up to focus on what is wrong though, but to focus on building yourself up, and taking care of business. It is a posture of our being that embraces bodily impulse with active listening, active blessing, and productive action.

Compassionate attention is about healing. When you heal emotionally you might be surprised at what you are led to do.

Your emotions need your attention. You aren’t weak for having them, in fact, there is a great deal of personal strength to be found through acknowledging and respecting them.

These important pieces of ourselves deserve the respect of our compassionate attention. By respecting them, you will find it much easier to respect yourself and be yourself.

Self-compassion for a Healthy Self-Relationship.

Showing ourselves compassionate attention is a way to develop a healthy relationship with our emotional impulses.

But why should you want to have a healthy relationship with these emotions?

Well, most of all they are great teachers. They hold the lessons of our lives. Without getting in touch with them, we are not able to fully come to know who we are.

Without coming to know ourselves we are left to wander throughout life. Maybe you will stumble your way into a successful situation from time to time without the discernment we achieve through self-knowledge. But from a healthy relationship with these impulses, you will be able to be more intentional and on point with the life decisions you make.

Compassionate Attention
Photo by Darius Bashar on Unsplash

5 Aspects of Showing Yourself Compassionate Attention.

There are some great reasons to practice compassionate attention, but you may be wondering how to do so.

Well lucky you, I have some sound information to help. Just keep reading.

1. Slow Your Roll.

Often times when we come to realize our impulses, they just don’t feel right. We may not feel all that in control of ourselves. Thoughts may be moving through our brains at an uncomfortable speed. You may find yourself being overly critical of self and others.

In this state, we need to slow our damn roll. I have sponsored many addicts throughout my recovery that have a problem with obsessing. Many times I have let one know that “it is time to revoke your thinking pass.” I know the danger of continuing thought processes when obsession is present because I have the same problem to deal with.

Now I know many of you reading this aren’t addicts, but from time to time every human spends some time stuck on being too hard on themselves. So slow your roll, take some deep breathes, put your mind on something else.

Getting back to a healthy place always begins with this act of self-compassion.

2. Surrender Self Directed Anger.

Anger is a natural part of life. But there is most certainly healthy outlets for anger, as well as unhealthy.

Letting the voice in your head put you down when feeling rough may feel difficult to stop. But it is also necessary and brings tremendous value for living a self-respectful life for which we can be truly proud.

To surrender this self-directed anger means doing a couple things.

First of all, you need to stop behaving in ways that are creating bad consequences for yourself and others. Next, you need to watch your mind. You need to keep your mind from getting overly negative. Not allowing it to become trapped in treating yourself and others negatively inside of that brain of yours.

You may believe there are no negative consequences from allowing negative thoughts to flow through your head. Maybe you believe that nobody gets hurt until they come out into reality. Are you kidding me? Negative cycles of thought allowed to fester inside our own heads are the root of all personal problems.

3. Focus on The Positives.

Focusing on the positives is a powerfully self-compassionate tool. Maybe they are the positives about ourselves. But it is also compassionate to our own troubled impulses, to take our attention off of them, and focus on something positive outside of ourselves.

When attempting to give attention to the positives, it may feel highly unnatural. When pissed off or sad, it is usually easier to overdo those emotions than to shift them to something to appreciate or be grateful for.

Everything good in our lives takes work. It doesn’t take much effort to focus on the negative, that comes naturally to many individuals like myself.

4. Give Yourself some Self-care.

To give ourselves self-care can be many different things. Sometimes self-care means detachment from certain responsibilities. Other times it is stepping up to take care of responsibility in a way we have been avoiding. A routine of self-care should be full of both of these aspects.

For our purpose here, to give ourselves compassionate attention is to be with our emotions in a way that fully respects them.

Maybe that comes through meditation, yoga, therapeutic writing or working out. It may come from a walk through nature. Whatever way you keep from judging your emotions too harshly, and appreciating their presence is beautifully self-compassionate.

5. Change what Needs to Change.

Often times though not every time, our troubled emotions are telling us to go forward and get shit done. Neglecting to take care of our responsibilities, in a sense, is a form of punishment performed on ourselves.

When we are able to slow our minds down and get in touch with ourselves, we will come to know what we should be doing. After knowing what we should be doing, the only compassionate thing to do is to get it done!

Not all compassionate attention involves focusing on emotions that are troubled. Much of getting in touch with emotions is to understand what we need to change in our lives. And in my experience, there is always something to change or improve.

Allowing our healthy impulses to live productively through us is a thing of beauty. It creates a sense of great satisfaction to know we are living on purpose and succeeding at being ourselves.

Compassionate Attention
Photo by Darius Bashar on Unsplash
Well, that is all we have for today and thank you so much for stopping into My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth.
We sincerely wish you amazing success in regularly showing yourself the compassionate attention that you deserve. I offer you the challenge of applying what you have read here, as well as experimenting with your own healthy ways of attending to yourself compassionately.
We truly believe that if you take today’s lessons to heart and apply them, that you will greatly benefit.

To see our Terms and Conditions click here


Showing Compassion Responsibly.

When building solid personal relationships we must not be only interested in our own best interests. We must look out for the interests of others, we must show compassion.

Let’s look a little deeper into what compassion is, why it may be tough to practice, and some ideas for becoming more compassionate people.

What is Compassion.

So what is compassion? Here is what Webster has to say about it. Compassion is a “suffering with another; painful sympathy; a sensation of sorrow excited by the distress or misfortunes of another.” Compassion arises out of a state of empathy, a state that allows us to connect with the emotional status of other individuals.

The feeling of compassion elicits a motivational driving force. A force that naturally seeks to alleviate the suffering of the individuals we are in contact with. Through empathy we are brought to meet another where they are at. With compassion we are brought to emotion to effect change on their lives for the better. It is a deeply human emotion that can alleviate suffering for those helped, as well as the helper.

Without a healthy dose of compassion healthy relationships are not possible. This emotion has a way of taking us out of our own mental and emotional worlds, giving a break from our own struggles. Doing this so that we can produce beneficial change for someone else. Maybe that individual is someone we have deep emotional bonds with, or maybe somebody that we have never met.

Compassion Hanging

Our Own Needs and the Difficulty of Showing Compassion.

We all have needs, I do, you do, we do. And compassion for others is about helping to take care of needs they have that are causing them suffering. There are times where this is easy while other times it is like pulling teeth. What makes showing it for others difficult can be that our own needs feel that they require more urgent attention.

Maybe we haven’t been sleeping or eating well, or are feeling some sort of sickness. We could also be grieving in some way, be busy with tasks, or having a rough patch to go through. Whatever the reason, the needs of others simply may not feel like any of our own responsibility. When feeling too needy myself the pain of other people can seem to be too much to handle.

But the problem is that too much pushing away of other people’s pain can become a habit. A habit that does lead away from showing our humanness to those that may need it. Research has showed that “feeling compassion our heart rates slow, we release oxytocin, and even areas registering pleasure in our brains light up.” Closing ourselves off from being compassionate people means that we will not get to experience its physiological benefits. Letting this feeling happen and showing it to others is one of our many needs.

Needs of ours that we don’t take care of, find ways to affect our lives negatively. What we need is to find a balance between taking care of enough of our others needs, as well as our need to be there for others.

How to Responsibly Show Compassion for Others.

Showing compassion is a human need. But it is only one of our many needs. For me, it feels good to help others with their difficulties. This good feeling only goes so far though. When doing too much for others while neglecting other needs that are not compassion related, trouble is being asked for. Responsibly showing compassion for others can be a difficult balancing act, but can be found.

Compassion Help

1.Compassion for Self.

This feeling is not just for other people. Putting ourselves out there too much for others while not taking care of ourselves, means we are not being compassionate with ourselves. There are many ways that we can show compassion for ourselves. One of those ways happens to be showing enough of it for others. But that is not enough.

I always have enjoyed the airplane oxygen mask analogy for self-care. Which means that we are supposed to make sure our own masks are on first before helping the person next us. Because if we cannot breathe we are not going to be much good to anyone else. No, that way I essentially turn myself into a liability. It can be difficult to let the world take care of itself, while we get our heads straight. While we get a nice workout in, meditate, nap or do some therapeutic writing. But we need to connect with our own neediness in these ways so that we are even more available to be there for others when the time comes.

2.Check in with Our Motives for Helping.

Our motivations for why we do what we do is a difficult thing to figure out. But I personally believe that us human beings do what we believe is in our own interests. Also, I don’t believe there is anything wrong with that. It just so happens that helping others can also be in our own interests. We get rewarded from helping others. Maybe the reward happens to be external, like money or praise. The reward may be are own ability to light up our brains with very human feel good chemicals like oxytocin.

We need to check into the reason we feel the need to help. Not be overly critical or judgmental about these motives, but just to see what they might be. The reason this is important is because if our goal is to be compassionate to both ourselves and the other individuals, we will want to make sure we are coming from a place of compassion. Sometimes the motivations can be rooted in drastic codependence. Trying to do too much for others that can already do for themselves. Possibly coddling others in an unconscious grab for the feeling of control. If through investigation you come to realize relational codependence is a problem. Don’t judge it too harshly. But please do make an effort to change if that is what is desired.

3. Learn When to Say Yes and When to Say No.

There are times that we should be saying yes to being helpful. And there are times that we probably should be saying no. Each of our levels of empathy and compassion are different, as well as our levels of energy to show them. So I can’t tell any of you what is yours to handle and what is not. But for me if the help I am giving doesn’t overly interfere with the health of my family, and I know the individuals involved cannot take care of it themselves, then I can responsibly help. Otherwise I must surrender their needs to care of others.

There are countless areas to connect with the suffering of others. Look on the news, it is everywhere I look. I don’t have the time or emotional availability to handle all emotional pulls to alleviate this suffering. But I do what I can where I can. Where I can’t and where I shouldn’t get a no from me these days. That no isn’t always easy, but is necessary for being a stable support in the relationships (including myself) that I currently take responsibility for.

Well, that is all we have for today, and thank you so much for stopping into My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth.
We truly believe that if you take today’s lessons to heart and apply them, that you will greatly benefit.

To see our Terms and Conditions click here