Showing ourselves intentional kindness can often be forgotten. For many of us, we give hard, we love big, and our hearts are full of compassion for others. However, research is showing us that kindness, self-compassion, and extending grace towards ourselves are how we can continue to show and grow our compassion for humanity. In fact, the idea that we all, as humans, share common humanity is on an aspect of self-compassion. Self-compassion is described as having three major components: 1) Mindfulness: awareness of your own thoughts and feelings; 2) Kindness: a commitment to yourself in tough times; and 3) Common humanity: a sense that everyone experiences highs and lows in life, just like you.
The last two components, common humanity and kindness, are key. How many of us extend grace to others when they have highs and lows, but not to ourselves? Grace can be defined as acceptance and can look different for each of us. It can look like giving ourselves permission to permit ourselves to be a work in progress. It can look like giving ourselves permission to rest, heal, love, forgive, or feel frustrated and angry. As we endure this month and the rest of this year, we encourage you to show yourself grace in whichever area of your life is it deserved.
Furthermore, we especially invite those of us who belong to marginalized communities or identities, BIPOC and ethnic-racial minorities, LGBTQIA+ community, or religious minorities who are facing discrimination and might lose faith in humanity, to be even more intentional with showering themselves with kindness and love. We invite you to keep faith in humanity despite discrimination and the disappointing experiences we witness that can cause us to lose that hope. Acknowledging common humanity means acknowledging that everyone has highs and lows; AND, acknowledging that for many, the lows may be lower, more extreme, more consequential, more devastating and deadlier than others who experience varying privileges. We know multiple truths can be held within us at once: we can acknowledge that everyone has different life experiences and that some of us face more oppression than others; and, we can know there is a common humanity that unites us all. Let that sense of common humanity be the lamp that guides us all together on a path to a better, brighter and more unified future.
Ultimately, having faith in humanity is how we heal and show ourselves self-compassion. It starts with you loving your authentic self, showing yourself kindness, and giving yourself grace. We invite you to engage in the following self-compassion activities:
- Write yourself notes of validation
- Send yourself and others loving kindness
- The Daily Shine “Imagination, Change, and You” mindfulness activity