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  • SuePattonThoele

Showering Unconditional Compassion

Updated: Oct 4, 2023

Showering is such a tender feminine concept. Soft April showers bring May flowers, bridal showers, welcoming baby showers; showering kids with love and praise, showering gratitude on those who gift us, and showering blessings as a natural part of our daily modus operandi. If you aren’t already doing so, now is the moment to begin showering unconditional compassion upon the person in your skin—you!

As a general rule, women tend to have conditional compassion for themselves. If I meet this standard, if I’m always nice, when I lose 120 pounds, when I get a better job, as soon as the kids are okay. Unfortunately, if conditions are too harsh, or rely on someone else’s happiness, we’ll never be able to attain them. Therefore, showering unconditional compassion upon all aspects of ourselves is the only way to go.

We may also be choosy about who within us is worthy of compassion. For instance, I’m able to be gentle and kind to myself when I’m sad, but it’s much harder for me to shower my overstimulated, electrified-nervous-system Bitch subpersonality with anything but impatience. Her name is a giveaway, isn’t it?

To prime the pump, bring to mind someone or something you often shower with unconditional love and compassion. It can be anyone or anything—a partner, a child, or a pet. If you’re a gardener, you may choose flowers. Picture the recipient of your compassion and notice what it feels like to shower them/it with unconditional positive regard. Gently breathe in the feeling. Become more deeply aware of how it feels to be a conduit of unconditional compassion. With no effort, allow that picture to fade and very tenderly imagine an image of you taking its place. Keep breathing and continue to feel compassion flowing gently toward you from you. If the flow has faltered, say something encouraging like “It’s okay” or “I wish only good for you” and allow the gentle flow to resume. In whatever way comes to you, shower this aspect of yourself with blessings.

If showering yourself with unconditional compassion is a struggle, please be kind to yourself and take the small-step approach. Go back to the experience of sending compassion to someone or something other than yourself. For your soul to become comfortable with self-compassion, take as long as you need sending it out to another. Eventually, when it feels doable, allow compassion to shower an

image of you.

Tiny drops of intentional other-directed compassion can grow into

a gentle shower of self-compassion.

During your day...

  • Entertain the idea of unconditional compassion by becoming aware of the conditions you impose on self- love and self-care. Jotting them down can be helpful.

  • Eliminate one condition a day, or one a week, for as long as it takes.

Do unto self as you do unto others.

Excerpted from The Woman's Book of Strength by Sue Patton Thoele. Available on Mango and Amazon.

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