33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Practicle Spirituality in Plain English,
This review is from: Self Compassion (Paperback)
I have only read chapter 1 so far, but it is a really great book.
Spiritual traditions and religions at their deepest core are only really about a few simple but important things - seeing the wholeness and interconnection of things, peace, compassion and love. Most of the rest is complete nonsense. :)
This book is about these things.
Though it is titled self compassion, it isn't just about that. It is more complete compassion, for yourself and others - at the deepest level they can only come hand in hand. If you are always judging yourself positively or negatively and monitoring how you are doing it's like living in a haze. How can you connect with your fellow human, animals, nature or universe when you are worrying about your negative (or positive, or threat to positive) self image.
But then doesn't this just give us something more to feel bad about.. like 'I shouldn't be worrying about my self image and living in a haze'... the thought - am I just a bad self centered person for thinking these things.. at some point you can start to see it is a spiral.. feeling bad about feeling bad.
The reason this is a good book is that it helps you to see that it's natural to think or worry about a variety of self interested things, it's in our evolution, our genes, our conditioning, our competitive individualised society, our life situation.. it's the human condition we are born into, we didn't choose it, we aren't to blame. This is where compassion begins.. we start to see these patterns and realise that deep down we are all just looking for a little comfort, security and peace, and that is what dictates a lot of our behaviour and thoughts. We can see how much we judge ourselves and others - once we see that everyone is just struggling along with their own life situation, and trying to find a bit of peace and security we can open up to compassion and understanding.
The key is to disarm the loop is through being gentle with ourselves. There is no need to feel bad, or to feel bad about feeling bad. But if it happens, it happens... have compassion toward yourself, give it space.. see it for what it is, rather than continuing the cycle of judgement.. this is the doorway out of the cycle..
This book isn't about having positive self esteem or a strong healthy self image. Quite the opposite.. it's more about letting those ideas go and trying to find a deeper connection to life beyond the illusions.
It's all too easy to try to treat others compassionatly and leave yourself out. Deepest love and compassion is all encompassing. It blurs the boundaries between you and other - if everything is an interconnected whole, how can you miss yourself out?