How We Define Compassion
Mali recently wrote a wonderful post about the importance of nurturing yourself that contained this nugget of wisdom: “I simply realised that, in the interests of fairness, I was just as worthy of my consideration as anyone else.”
I definitely think that we accept flaws in others that we would never accept in ourselves and that we hold other people’s opinions more important than our own. But afterwards I kept thinking about whether you can really consider yourself a compassionate person if you don’t practice compassion for yourself? If you are not included in the equation, or if you don’t give yourself an equal amount of compassion as other people.
I mean, if someone admitted they were a compassionate person except towards blue-eyed people, I don’t think we’d nod and say, “Oh, that’s completely okay. We still think you’re a wonderful, caring human being.” We’d think, “Holy fuck, why does this person hold such messed up views towards blue-eyed people?”
So replace “blue-eyed” with “you,” and ask yourself the same question: are you a compassionate, caring person if you do not show care towards yourself?
Of course it calls into question all sorts of questions, such as where does care for one person begin and care of another person end, since human beings often have conflicting needs when it comes to their care. And it certainly blows the narrative of the martyr out of the water, since someone who sacrifices themselves for the sake of others isn’t really caring for the whole since they are part of the whole.
Which calls into question the whole Superwoman discussion, and the concept of not only having it all, but doing it all in the most Pinteresting way possible.
It certainly gave food for thought, especially in a season where we’re constantly encouraged to do more and give more to remember that we fit into the equation, too. That our happiness is valid, and our needs equally important.