Self-compassion, the lifelong gift from you to yourself
Of course we generally find it easier to accept our virtues than our faults! But since we stumble and make mistakes all the time, we are going to feel a lot better if we can accept our faults as well.
This is where the strange-sounding idea of "bombu nature" comes in.
You probably get something wrong every day, right? That's "bombu" nature. This Buddhist concept means we never get things completely right: instead we often make a mess of things because we're human.
Bombu nature means we need to accept we can never achieve the highest levels of excellence, we can never be those shiny perfect beings that we often pretend to be.
When you accept that you have bombu nature you can stop judging yourself against a standard of excellence that is almost impossible to meet. You can learn to laugh at yourself instead of condemning yourself. You even learn to laugh at other people’s failings instead of condemning them.
And if kindness is more appropriate than laughter you can give yourself (and others) that too.
So an awareness of our bombu nature can be very liberating. And it doesn't have to be an excuse for being slovenly, lazy, irresponsible and so on: it’s about being an accepting and understanding friend to yourself.
For instance, when you accept you're never going to be up and running in the part at six am you might allow yourself to get up at eight and take a walk in the park at lunchtime.
Acceptance is a key aspect of mindfulness but acceptance really needs to include acceptance of ourselves as well as others or it is an incomplete acceptance. Recognising the bombu nature in ourselves and in others can help us to cultivate that acceptance.