Last week we were discussing a wonderful book on meditation written by the Tibetan Buddhist monk, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche entitled The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness. I found the author's explanations and suggestions very accessible and easy to incorporate into a busy life.
But there was one part that reduced me to tears. In the chapter on how to develop compassion, I read that there are basically three steps, each of which might take months to master before being ready to continue to the next step. The first step was to develop compassion towards oneself. When I sat down to do that, I repeated the words: "May I have happiness and the sources of happiness, may I be free of suffering and the sources of suffering, may I be free of attachment and aversion and dwell in perfect equanimity, may I have joy and the sources of joy," and I stared to cry. After years of pushing myself to do more and more (Why? To prove myself? To whom?), this simple phrase gave me permission to be who I am right now. I think the tears were tears of relief and acceptance. Even now, when I repeat those words, I find my eyes getting misty and my soul just melts into . . . relaxation.
Be compassionate to yourself. Get this book.