Happy ‘Lovingkindness Day!’
I tend to lean away from the commercial side of Valentine’s Day and dedicate the 14th of February to be ‘Lovingkindness Day’ each year. Being conscious that everyone is on their own individual journey when it comes to matters of the heart. I find this hugely marketed and profitable day for many businesses may trigger a lot of people…. So I like calling it ‘Lovingkindness Day so its more about loving ourselves and being grateful for the people that are around us rather than whether we have a partner or not.
‘Lovingkindness’ is an English translation of the word metta from Pali, a language used to record the early teachings of Buddhism. The word has two root meanings, ‘gentle’ and ‘friend.’ The foundation of lovingkindness is being a gentle friend to yourself, no matter what kind of experience you happen to be having in the moment.
Here are 3 tips for Self compassion
1) Say some key phrases of kindness and compassion towards yourself i.e.
– ‘May I be happy, May I be healthy, May I be free from suffering’, or you can make up phrases of your own, experimenting until you find ones that work for you.
2) Offer compassion to a hurt part of yourself. Bring to mind an image of yourself at a time of hurt and pain, and offer compassion to the child or adult you were then. You might use phrases like, “May you find peace. May you be free of suffering.”
3) Try directing compassion to a part of you that was mean or cruel to yourself or others in the past. Recall a time that you were hurtful to yourself or someone else (start with a relatively mild case). Notice how you were responding based on past conditioning or feelings like you were defending and protecting yourself, or justly punishing yourself or the other person. Offer compassion to the part of you that tends to respond to pain or being wronged with anger and aggression. Offer compassion to yourself for how – like all human beings, especially those who have been deeply hurt – you acted in the only way you knew how at that time. Show forgiveness and release the emotions.
Whatever your situation is around this day make sure to take some time to stop what you’re doing and show compassion to yourself.
Like mindfulness, lovingkindess and compassion require practice and discipline, as well as patience with yourself. But the practice and patience are well worth it.
Sending you lots of love and light