I went to see my naturopath yesterday. We talked as we usually do, she checked my pulses and my tongue, and made some suggestions for diet and supplements. She wrote down her instructions and handed me the page.
When I got home, I reviewed her list of instructions. The last item said:
4. Compassion for self
I laughed out loud. What kind of prescription was this? What sort of doctor does this, I asked myself.
Apparently a doctor who cares about her whole patient, who wants her patient to be whole, to feel whole. A doctor who knows that without compassion, all the supplements in the world will still leave her patient lacking. And unless the patient can open her heart to her own self, then all the doctor’s care will be for naught.
How many millions are spent every year on self improvement? We want to do better. We want to be better. What violence do we do to ourselves by judging ourselves as always falling short, never being good enough as we are?
I have listened to people in recent discussions speak of themselves with such self-criticism, such disappointment, such hatred. Condemning themselves to eternal inadequacy, they desperately search for some external answer to their distress, for someone to tell them what to do.
So here is the answer, right on the prescription paper – compassion for self. Just for one moment, take a deep breath, drop all the judgment, and give yourself a smile. Doctor’s orders.
You’ve been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens. ~Louise L. Hay