Pema Chödrön, Don’t Bite the Hook Part 6 of 6: Self-Compassion

November 13, 2009 by  

l_a848dbda9024415e9fa66fd11719cb60When we don’t get angry at someone, what happens?  We feel better.  Maybe not right away, and maybe not after even a few initial encounters of doing so.  However, over time as we relinquish any angry feelings, we start to understand the beauty of non-violence.

Some people say, “How do you not get angry at someone mistreating you?  You have every right to be angry.”  But what happens when you get angry at that person, you feel sick inside, right?  As Chödrön says, if you have no compassion for the person who is angry at you, practice some compassion for yourself.  Compassion so that you yourself do not “bite the hook” and get into the maelstrom of inner turmoil, negativity, hatred, and pettiness.  So if you can’t have compassion for the other person, have it for yourself.

Beyond that, remember that at a very fundamental level compassion for yourself is the beginning of all compassion for others.  Most spiritual warriors who go out into the world to help others always begin with themselves.  I like to say when their cup is empty, they have no way of filling another’s cup.  Filling your own cup is the start of being able to connect, interact, help, and share compassion with others.  Begin with self-compassion today and resist the temptation to engage, escalate, and hurt back.  It will ultimately destroy both of you.  As they say, “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”  Don’t dig your own grave.

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5 Responses to “Pema Chödrön, Don’t Bite the Hook Part 6 of 6: Self-Compassion”

  1. Heather on November 13th, 2009 9:52 pm

    I like this concept! I haven’t ever thought of it before! Thanks, Dr. Lam!!!

  2. Allyson on November 17th, 2009 10:49 pm

    This, other than the Bible, is the best bit of understanding and inspiration I’ve read in a very long time. Its nice to come across new ideas in which to understand the human condition; even better when presented in interesting and soothing perspectives.

    My Mother and I have great difficulty with one another. I’ve known the above is something I MUST tackle in order to better my relationship with her. — But I never really pinpointed a word for what exactly needs to happen. Compassion being the term here, I want to practice that more every day. Thank you Dr. Lam for taking the time to write something so meaningful and relevant.

  3. dr. lam on November 17th, 2009 11:13 pm

    thanks allyson! that means a lot to me. i always love to hear that i am helping in a small way.

  4. Nord on November 25th, 2009 2:14 pm

    I don’t know whether you see these comments to older entries. Just wanted you to know this one is appreciated for holiday situations. ;) Rereading as we travel home. Thanks for all your help.

  5. dr. lam on November 25th, 2009 4:03 pm

    absolutely, i read every comment and appreciate every comment! happy thanksgiving!

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