In the top left-hand corner of my kindness matrix is a section that says “Being kind to myself”. In the “Why?” part I wrote the following
Because it makes me feel better about myself
Because if I’m in a good place, I can look outward and help others
The second one of these is a thought that is mirrored by this from Lama Yeshe
“Be gentle first with yourself if you wish to be gentle with others.”
and that is usually referred to in the context of the airline safety instruction to “put your oxygen mask on first.” I have seen this quoted a lot around self-kindness and self-compassion.
When I sketched this out in January, I listed out the behaviours that I thought demonstrated me being kind to myself. This is what I wrote:
- spending time with positive people
- noticing and reflecting
- self-care toolkit
- sharing hugs
In all honesty, many of these are all covered by self-compassion, but when I first sketched this out, I didn’t realise that. I’m better at some of these than others. Some already are habits. Some need intention and deliberate focus. It’s an ongoing, work-in-progress thing, not a done deal.
I came across this thought earlier today in a different context
“Don’t make perfect the outcome, make progress the outcome.”
and I like it a lot. It accepts that we’re on a journey, and we can always strive to be better. So maybe I should acknowledge that and change the corner to be
Being kinder to myself