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Cultivating Self Compassion

December 21, 2021

Cultivating Self Compassion

By Amba Gale

Full Moon, emerge!
Come out of hiding.
Teach me how to love.

By Amba and Don Gale

In my last posting, December 8, I invited you to reach out to someone in your past, perhaps even someone who has passed, and write to them the words inside your heart that you have never said to them. I also gave you the gift of listening to a song my husband wrote to his Mother, from his new album of original songs, Looking Back, Looking In, a deeply introspective body of songs. Here’s the song again, Momma. in the case you missed the last posting.

Consider this possibility: it is only through giving love to ourselves, compassion for ourselves, that we can ever fully accept the love of another. This means by-passing our inner critic, creating spaciousness around inner voices that tell us how small we are, or how fat we are, or how dumb we are.

Each of us has had a major moment, if not a number of them in the past, where we got stuck, hating ourselves, or another, or closing ourselves down or putting up walls, or going into hiding, never to be seen again. And consider this: it is possible to heal that wound, to integrate that version of yourself into your present, through cultivating self-love.

I invite you into another practice. Try this on: select a time you were deeply hurting. Go back to yourself at this younger age, and put an arm around yourself, appreciating yourself. Be real. Mean it. Embrace and love the hurting being who was yourself, the one who went into hiding. Spend some time. 

As this year and last year have been so challenging for many of us, you may want to select a more recent you to create compassion for. 

I invite you to end this year with a healing.

Two weeks ago, in a retreat I led, ten of us did just that, and a healing occurred for each. It can for you, too. Loving Your Self is the poem I wrote the next day, inspired by my own experience, and David Whyte’s poem, Admit in his new book of poetry, Still Possible.

May my poem, and your own good work with you, touch your soul and meet you with the passion of Self Compassion. 

 

 

Loving Your Self

By Amba Gale

Your reluctance
to make peace with yourself,
to love yourself,
your younger self, that is,
can now be seen, and named.

The demons that usually block
the entrance to the temple door
now beckon you to come in.

You have to do one thing only:

Put
your arm around your younger self
(the one that hurt the most)
give up the reluctance,
and speak.

It does not matter how old you were.

Put your arm around yourself.

Speak
        your compassion.

Speak
        your connection.

Speak
        your understanding.

And, finally, and most importantly,
speak
        your love.

And, then, keep on walking
through the temple door,
past the demons,
knowing your are loved.

Then, and only then,
the love of another can enter in.

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