You Can Not Pour From An Empty Cup

Photo by Mariusz Słoński on Unsplash

Compassion for others has always been a key to beautiful relationships but have you ever turned the tap of compassion inwards? Self-Compassion is rarely talked or thought of, in today’s fast paced world.

Why does compassion towards yourself matters?

It does. It makes a difference in the quality of your life. It is about doing enough for yourself. It is directly related to your happiness meter.

Not being compassionate towards self means not caring and valuing yourself enough. We build our value by how we treat ourselves. If you are not ready to treat yourself well, by heeding and healing the inner child, its going to keep nagging always.

For example you are facing an overload balancing personal and professional life. It is a problem being faced by millions of people around the world.  What do we do in this case?

We grudge that why so much work pressure on me? We blame the environment around us that people are not helpful.

How many times do we do something to help ourselves?

The keys to making yourself feel better lies with you and not with someone else. I have realised that until our equation with ourselves is good and valued, compassion will always remain a goalpost.  

Blaming and beating ourselves internally, thinking we are not enough is the ground of being unkind or uncompassionate to one self.

How To Show Self-Compassion

Being compassionate holds strategic advantage. It is hard to show it to others if you are not feeling it inside. Feeling compassionate and caring for yourself go hand in hand.

First, lets figure out what can we do for ourselves. Beginning from the inward focus, self- compassion is about doing things that cut down on your stress factor. Making oneself feel better, recognising the need to lift up the spirits through small little things that spring joy and relaxation in you.

  • Soothing: Its rare to find someone to soothe your frayed nerves. That doesn’t mean one can’t do it on one’s own. For example, a man is battling severe stress at work. The boss is after him to finish the work on deadline while, there are many time-consuming tasks hanging around before reaching the deadline.

Doing something soothing in this case would be listening to some nice, soft or mood- lifting music. Going for a hot shower or making one ‘self some nice tea, coffee or favourite beverage.

  • Comforting: It is important to comfort yourself as it relaxes the body and releases stress. Indulging in a massage or talking to your best friend helps one release the tension in short term.
  • Validating: Resisting the pain doubles the friction inside.Validating means accepting the feelings and emotions that keep the stress alive. In this case, it means saying to oneself that it is part of life. Acceptance lessens the gravity of stress and makes us live with it.

This is the feminine side of self-compassion. But self-compassion is not limited to what one says or does to one’ self.

The other spectrum of self-compassion is about engaging others to help you. The focus in making your situation better, is on outside world, by seeking people to act for you.

This is also referred to as the masculine side of self-compassion. In a world of interdependence, we can not operate exclusive of people. The idea is to engage others to help you offload the stress. The main tenets of this self-compassion are

Protecting: You are the guardian of your own interests.It is about protecting your interests. If you feel your interests are getting compromised, then you are the best person to stand up and make others take note of it. If you can’t do this for yourself, don’t expect others to protect your interests.

Providing: Come up with solutions that can provide a room for releasing your stress. It can be about dividing your workload, seeking expert help or acquiring new skill that helps you deal with the stressing situation better.

Motivating: You are your biggest cheer leader. Motivating aspect of self-compassion is about standing up for yourself. Asking for what you think belongs to you. It also means seeking people’s intervention or interaction to know what drives them or is the secret of their success. This happens to be a big motivator for driving one out of difficult conditions.

If there is something bothering you, stop resigning to the situation. It is easy to whine and complain about what’s bothering you but somewhat uncomfortable to seek people’s help in easing you. Options are always available, only if we have the heart and desire to look, explore and implement those in our life.

In a nutshell, self-compassion is about taking charge of your life, for you and your issues matter.

Being compassionate holds strategic advantage in business strategies now. If you have any doubt, heed these words. “ We see compassion as a strategic advantage. It’s a great way to build as a person, as a team, as a company and a business. We see it as a building block for success”, Scott Shute, LinkedIn’s Head of Mindfulness.

True compassion begins with self. It’s rightly said, “you can’t pour from an empty cup”. So, fill your cup with self-love, kindness and compassion and it will soon flow out to influence others, bringing lots of good will and rewards.