Unconditional Self Love

What does it mean to be compassionate?

If I have compassion for you, it means I can relate to your experience and I am moved to demonstrate my understanding of your experience based on how I relate to you.  Showing compassion goes beyond the mental and emotional tendency to empathize with someone.  It is an act of love.  Compassion says: I understand your situation, your feelings, your choices, your suffering, and because I empathize with you I have the desire to offer you love by helping you cope with what you’re experiencing.

With that said, most of us probably immediately think about showing compassion to others when we hear this word.  But we should also be aware of how much compassion we are showing ourselves.  This is especially important when it comes to how we view and treat our body. 

It can be tough to love everything about your body.  We live in a society where we are constantly bombarded by images of Photoshop, airbrush, and surgically perfect celebrities.  It is only natural to compare yourself against these unrealistic standards, leaving you with plenty to hate about your body.  But I encourage you to be compassionate towards yourself in every way, even in regards to your own tendencies to tear yourself down.  When you think about your body, try extending some compassion towards any negative thoughts you may have by acknowledging the negativity and then replacing it with positive thoughts.  

One thing that I used to be very insecure about was my eyebrows. Yes, my eyebrows, I know.

My brows are naturally very thin, and seeing all these images of women with perfectly arched eyebrows didn’t help me feel any better about them.  It got to a point where I would not be seen anywhere by anyone without first filling in my brows.  I felt ugly without them.  But filling in my brows had become such a habit that I didn’t even think twice about why I was doing it or why I felt the need to do it. 

Then one day after being told by someone I cared about that they felt that my love was conditional, I was compelled to practice showing unconditional love, starting with myself.  I decided that I was going to go completely make-up free until I was fully comfortable being seen in that way.

This was not easy because while I never have worn much makeup, I also was never ever seen in public without my eyebrows.  But I did it!  And it felt so good.  The funny thing is, everyone that I asked told me they didn’t notice anything different about my appearance!  I learned a big lesson in confidence, self-love, and compassion by allowing my “flaw” to be seen by the world.

What about you?  What are you hiding from others?  I challenge you to embrace what you dislike about your body and show compassion towards it until you love your whole self unconditionally. 

“Everlasting impact with compassion and kindness is called love.”