Ep 78 What To Do When You Don’t Know

by Deb Butler

This episode is about how to honor your own commitments to yourself, even though sometimes if feels very confusing and perhaps you don’t know how.

don't know Podcast 78

I share with you two different authors who have helped me and who can help you too: Kristen Neff and Byron Katie.

This is Kristen Neff’s definition of self compassion:

Having compassion for oneself is really no different than having compassion for others. Think about what the experience of compassion feels like. First, to have compassion for others you must notice that they are suffering. If you ignore that homeless person on the street, you can’t feel compassion for how difficult his or her experience is. Second, compassion involves feeling moved by others’ suffering so that your heart responds to their pain (the word compassion literally means to “suffer with”). When this occurs, you feel warmth, caring, and the desire to help the suffering person in some way. Having compassion also means that you offer understanding and kindness to others when they fail or make mistakes, rather than judging them harshly. Finally, when you feel compassion for another (rather than mere pity), it means that you realize that suffering, failure, and imperfection is part of the shared human experience. “There but for fortune go I.”

Self-compassion involves acting the same way towards yourself when you are having a difficult time, fail, or notice something you don’t like about yourself. Instead of just ignoring your pain with a “stiff upper lip” mentality, you stop to tell yourself, “This is really difficult right now, how can I comfort and care for myself in this moment?” Ask the question, even if you don’t know how (yet.)

Instead of mercilessly judging and criticizing yourself for various inadequacies or shortcomings, self-compassion means you are kind and understanding when confronted with personal failings – after all, who ever said you were supposed to be perfect?

You may try to change in ways that allow you to be more healthy and happy, but this is done because you care about yourself, even if you don’t know how to do that yet, not because you are worthless or unacceptable as you are. Perhaps most importantly, having compassion for yourself means you honor and accept your humanness. Things will not always go the way you want them to. You will encounter frustrations, losses will occur, you will make mistakes, bump up against your limitations, fall short of your ideals. This is the human condition, a reality shared by all of us. The more you open your heart to this reality instead of constantly fighting against it, the more you will be able to feel compassion for yourself and all your fellow humans in the experience of life.

Then I talk about Byron Katie and the three types of business:

  • Your business
  • Other people’s business
  • God’s business

Learning to be in your own business is the most powerful lesson you will ever learn!

Enjoy the show!

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