Thursday, February 25, 2016

Self-care spurs more compassion

Mindfulness author, speaker and workshop leader Arnie Kozak says it well: "Ultimately, it is only by mindfully caring for ourselves that we can truly and effectively care for others with compassion."

Does that seem selfish to you at first blush? Perhaps you grew up, as I did, thinking that you should love others first and yourself last.

However, think of this: If you haven't loved yourself enough to tend to your own wounds and hurts—and to find healing for them—the love you offer to others will be tinged with the hurt and pain of those wounds. Your heart will have areas that are closed off because of that hurt. Your love and compassion can't flow freely.

So to put it another way: Heal yourself first. Then you will be able to offer healing, compassion and love to others. Or to frame it in the negative and say it differently: Hurting people hurt others.

So it really makes sense to engage in self-care because then we can offer so much more compassion and care to those whose lives ours touch. What can you do today for your own healing and well-being? Who else might benefit?

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