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Compassionate reflection

Compassionate reflection allows you to see yourself from a different perspective.

When you look back on your life, on relationships, decisions, and your treatment of yourself and others,  do so with compassion. Compassionate reflection allows you to see yourself from a different perspective.

If you just reflect, you may think, "Oh how stupid I was, how foolish, how unkind, how absolutely clueless!" and then you'll want to never think of those times again because it feels so very bad to do so.

What this is, is not forgiving yourself for who you were. If you cannot forgive yourself for who you were, then you won't be able to forgive others for who they are. If someone does, says, or acts in a way that you had done before, it will be a trigger for a negative reaction towards them for being who they are at present.

If you react to that trigger, especially if you express it to them, "Yeah, I used to think that way too until I wised up!" It brings out the horrible emotion called "shame." By shaming them, you're also shaming yourself. Only it's not fair to them, because they haven't even been allowed to learn whatever it is they need to learn yet. Shaming them may even hinder that learning process.

If you instead look to your past and forgive your former self for everything, then you will still be able to recognize it in a person today, but it won't cause that trigger reaction. Instead, the recognition may cause you to try to help guide them to a choice you wish you'd made (in hindsight), or you may just be able then to let them be and learn it for themselves without shaming or criticizing them. When you foster compassion towards yourself, you'll be able to extend it to others.

People often say that forgiveness is for you, not them. While that's true, it's for all the "thems" of your future, too. When you forgive, you'll become an inspiration to others to forgive themselves and others, too.

By Doe Zantamata

Author of "Happiness in Your Life - Book One: Karma"

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