What does it mean to be compassionate? It is the willingness to experience your feelings without blaming yourself or others.
The biggest impediment to creating compassion is the feeling of shame. Shame doesn't get a lot of press because it's difficult to talk about. People usually confuse guilt with shame. Guilt is a feeling that you have done something wrong whereas shame says "I am bad."
More from YourTango: 10 Signs Your Guy Is Definitely In Love With You
When we feel shame, we want to hide and we certainly do not want to talk about it. This is where compassion comes in — to help with these difficult feelings.
1. Ask yourself, "What am I feeling?" It's important to label or acknowledge the feeling state. Feeling resides in the body. Locate where in your body you have feelings or sensations.
I usually say to clients, "Are you feeling mad, sad, glad, or scared?" There are many feeling words, but these four cover the range.
2. You may notice that after you identify the feeling, there are thoughts of blame, revenge, hopeless, despair and so on.
3. Acknowledge the thought by saying silently, "These are just thoughts. My thoughts are not who I am." They are just thoughts. 5 Steps On Increasing Your Awareness
4. You may notice the urge or feeling to act on your feelings of jealousy, revenge, or self-loathing. That's okay. Allow yourself to have these feelings and, at the same time, decide to not act on them. How do you do that? Read the next step.
More from YourTango: 7 Signs You're An Overbearing Girlfriend
5. Writing helps with strong urges. Talking with a trusted friend can help. If you find that your friends don't want to hear it anymore, that means your friends have gone as far as they can with you on your journey of self-discovery. Its doesn't mean they are no longer a friend, they simply can't travel any deeper with you. If you find this is happening then it's time to talk with a professional. There are many roads to self-discovery and healing, and psychotherapy is only one. Are You A Victim Of Emotional Betrayal?
More love advice from YourTango: