One of the five Reiki precepts is “Be compassionate to yourself and others.” For someone who loves herself a whole damn lot, I struggle with being compassionate to myself. I am really tough on myself—I haven’t accomplished this much by being lazy! I’m not one of those self-described perfectionists; I don’t need every line to be straight nor do I need everything to be polished at all times. There are always dirty dishes in our sink and that kind of stuff doesn’t bother me. This absence of compassion exists in a realm where I expect myself to go, to do, to create, to produce at full blast during every waking moment.
A benefit of this self-inflicted regime is that “bored” isn’t a feeling I know—ever. I remember my uncle saying when I was little, “If you’re bored, you’re boring” and that’s a rule of life to which I completely subscribe. There are mountains of books to read, plenty of people to connect or reconnect with, countless tasks to accomplish. Boredom isn’t a choice I ever make.
But on the flip side, I expect myself to never shut off. Sometimes to sit down and stop hurts.
Yet, I know compassion. I feel it in every cell. Animal rescue and Reiki (and even my “day job”…) are centralized on compassion for other living things, for our environments, for our community now and moving forward. But in all of this compassion-spreading, we can’t forget to spread it on ourselves too. And I am compassionate to myself sometimes—I take luxurious naps, I get regular massages, I indulge in material things. But I guess the feeling of not being compassionate enough to myself is sickly cyclical to the toughness I impose on myself.
Bottom line: I’m seeking a sense of compassion within myself that allows me to just be, that extracts the self-inflicted pressure to do, to go, to achieve. I want to share the joy with myself too. And I will.