At start of a new year, it’s very tempting to focus on what we need to improve about ourselves. Indeed, this can even be helpful if not carried to extremes – sometimes enough of our resolutions get carried through to make a difference.
For some people though it’s not a New Year thing. Throughout the year they look back on their lives and see missed opportunities, paths taken that led to the wrong place or bad experiences at the hands of other people.
Thinking on and on like this makes it all too easy to fall into a state of gloom or to deepen an existing negative feeling. Wishing well to yourself of the past can help to counteract this. It’s saying that although some things went badly – maybe even because of choices you made – you nonetheless are a friend to yourself and you wish yourself well in spite of all.
In dong this you are giving yourself acceptance and compassion and with these you are more likely to move forward into tomorrow as best you can – and that’s better for yourself and others than staying stuck in gloom.
Here are the steps to use for the exercise in the video:
Call to mind an image of yourself at some point in the past. Wish your past self well with compassion. Say ‘Be happy, be safe, be well.’ If you were not happy, safe or well at that time let this be an expression of what you would wish for yourself.
Now think of yourself at present and wish yourself well with compassion. Say ‘Be happy, be safe, be well.’ If you are not happy, safe or well at this time let that be an expression of what you would wish for yourself.
Now imagine an image of yourself at some time in the future. Wish your future self well with compassion. Say ‘Be happy, be safe, be well.’ If it should turn out that you will not be happy, safe or well at that time let this be an expression of what you would wish for yourself.
To end, rest into awareness of your body and your breath for a little while.
My True Friend course in self-compassion will give you many ways to be a true friend to yourself in your life. The course is offered on a donation basis in January 2020.
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