Compassion: Outward and Inward

“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.”
– Jack Kornfield

I love this sentiment. I know for me, its often easier to remember to be kind to those around me than it is to be kind to myself. From the time we are small, we are taught to share, to be inclusive, to encourage other people. We are taught to forgive others. One of the things I think we often forget is that we need to be as kind to ourselves as we are to the other people in our lives.

Doesn’t it seem like we are often pushing ourselves to perfection, never letting go of an ideal? We nearly have a double standard – we are so forgiving with others, but with ourselves we fear we’re going to be seen as selfish, or fear we’ve let someone else down.

I think that especially in hard times, its good to take a deep breath and be kind to ourselves. We work hard, we have high standards. It’s good to stop for a moment and recognize that compassion should extend both outward and inward.