Achieving Self-Compassion

Achieving Self-Compassion

A Visualization For Inner Peace And Happiness

By Nate Terrell, LCSW

Achieving Self-Compassion

Do you join me in doing any of the following:

  • Take on the responsibility for other people’s happiness
  • Feel the pain of everyone around you
  • Base your self-worth on how others view or treat you
  • Worry about whether other people like you
  • Often get your feelings hurt

     If so, take a couple of deep breaths and visualize that you live in a town in the desert surrounded by a fence where everyone’s identity is completely based on their relationships rather than their internal world.

     With a determined selflessness, you become a superstar at meeting the needs of others which brings you great meaning and frequent praise.  However, after many years of endless caretaking, you are exhausted and sit under a tree to catch your breath and refill your cup.

     Rather than return the kindness you have always given out so freely by offering their support, others shame you for your selfishness.  You feel hurt and guilty as you wander about aimlessly on the edge of town until nightfall.

     You eventually spot a hole in the fence and slip through it in a moment of curiosity.  You are delighted to find yourself standing alone under a beautiful full moon and bright stars.  

     Filled with a profound sense of emotional freedom, you walk across the desert and up a nearby mountain path until you find an abandoned cabin.  Although simple and sparse, it has everything you need.

      You sit in a rocking chair on the front porch overlooking the valley below and relish a previously unknown sense of serenity as you soak in the stillness and beauty around you.  Without anyone to take care of except yourself, you are finally free to drift into your inner world where you experience a compelling ocean of light you want to bask in forever.

     Eventually you retire to a comfortable bed and wake up feeling rejuvenated and joyful in your solitude.  You fix up the cabin just as you like and throw yourself into doing whatever brings you pleasure, comfort or satisfaction with the warm companionship of your new “best friend.”

     After a few days of following your bliss by playing a guitar you found in the cabin, hiking around the mountain and simply being, you suddenly begin to worry about the wellbeing of all the village people you were so used to taking care of.

     Consequently, you venture back into town and are surprised to discover that everyone is doing just fine without you.  Although a few people ask where you have been, most are too busy going about their lives to have even noticed your absence.

     Although a bit baffled, you are relieved and return excitedly to your cabin paradise to live the life you want and trust your inner “knowing” rather than looking to others for approval or advice.  Your positive energy enables you finally begin to treat yourself with the same kindness and compassion you have always reserved for others.

     You are eventually filled with an abundance of loving care you want to pass onto others so you return periodically to the town and invite selected people you believe you can help to your cabin.  Rather than take on all of their pain as you would have in the past, you experience enough of it to help them feel validated, but not so much that it drains your spirit.

     As a result, you have the energy and focus you need to do what you can to help alleviate the suffering of your guests and teach them strategies they can use to overcome the challenges they face, treat themselves with greater self-compassion and find their own inner peace. 

     In addition to benefiting from all you have to offer, your guests are relieved that their unhappiness does not take away yours and therefore continue to seek you out without feeling like they are a burden to you. 

     Although many of your guests ask to move in, you set clear boundaries and help them build their own nearby cabins where they can flourish without overly relying on you or anyone else.  You are all free to simply enjoy each other without the burden of “making” each other happy.

     Eventually, you shine so brightly that the entire village turns to you for your wisdom and guidance.  You are delighted to help them build an even more loving community where everyone is treated fairly, but also celebrated for their ability to follow their own paths and tend to their own gardens.

     However, you never again allow the needs of others or the challenges of the outside world to weigh you down.  You treasure the sanctuary of your inner world which now completely defines, inspires and protects you.

     You also continue to love people and enjoy them even more now that you no longer allow them to hurt you, take away your serenity or prevent you from following your own bliss.  You bask in your total control over your wellbeing and ability to take great care of yourself and love yourself deeply.

     You live out the rest of your days relishing the wonders of your cabin and filled with inner peace and happiness you can enjoy and give freely to others. You are finally at home within yourself and living the perfect life you so richly deserve!