The Goddess of Compassion

Written by Amie on May 16, 2009 – 11:52 pm -

kwan-yin-large-brassI have a Kwan Yin figurine sitting on my meditation altar. She is known as the goddess of compassion. When I first put her on my altar, I wanted to work on having compassion for everyone. Funny thing is, I forgot to put myself on that list . I continued to allow myself to be harsh and downright mean to myself. It took me awhile to realize that I also needed compassion from myself. Having compassion and love for oneself is the key to lasting healing and happiness, in my opinion. How can I love anyone else fully,     without loving myself first? I can’t.

When I think back to how long it took me to start developing self love and compassion for myself, I am amazed. It took a long time before I really was able to see that I needed to love myself. I still have times when I don’t feel love for myself, and I resort to those old habits of being unkind to myself. I am now able to remind myself that if I believe that my kids, my husband, my pets, and my family all deserve loving kindness and compassion from me, then I certainly do to. Why wouldn’t I? That was a big a-ha moment for me. I deserve the same loving treatment that I give others. 

We are always taught to “love thy neighbor as thyself”. It is interesting how so many of us do okay on the loving others part, or at least we are able to make an attempt at it. However, I think we forget the part about “thyself”. The most integral part! I don’t think it means to love and be compassionate to everyone else, but beat yourself up! I don’t think we are really taught how to love ourselves. I think we are taught to be nice to others, be a “good” girl or a “good” boy, and overlook our own needs in order to make others happy or to make them like us. Where is it taught that we should follow our hearts and do things that make us happy? We may have been taught that this was selfish. As children, we are taught that we need to please the adults in our lives. I believe this teaches children to ignore their inner compass on what makes them happy.

I started having compassion for myself when I learned to become aware of the habitual things that I would say to myself. They had become so habitual, that I had become unconscious to them. They were a part of my inner voice. Once I started observing my thoughts, I was able to see how harsh I was on myself. Funny thing is, I would never have been friends with anyone that talked to me the way I talked to myself! I would have avoided them like the plague. But somehow, it was okay for me to treat myself that way! Yuck! So, my goal has been to become my own best friend. When I am able to be my own best friend, we can deal with life with more compassion. Yes, I said “we”. Sometimes it really is helpful to think of having two of me. The real “me” is the one observing the person having the thoughts. That was confusing to me at first because I wasn’t able to separate anything. Now that I am able to observe, I can plainly see that there are two separate entities. The one with all of the baggage and learned beliefs and untruths, and the one that is pure love and compassion. I know which one I want to have the loudest voice. Kwan Yin is there to remind me to be compassionate to all, which of course, includes me!

If you have a few minutes, check out this Video-it is one of my favorite songs by Amy Steinberg called Exactly.

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