If we let our personal reserves run dry, we will have nothing left worth offering.

We hear so much about the importance of offering compassion to others and often strive to be kind, empathetic and forgiving. We are taught that by acting this way, we not only help others, but recognize the characteristics that make us a good person. All of this may, indeed, be true, but have you remembered to factor yourself into this equation? If not, why not now? Now, is always a good time to start anything worthwhile!

Kelly Rae Roberts, a former medical social worker, turned artist and entrepreneur extraordinaire, states that, “Self compassion changes everything.” She is most definitely correct in her assertion. In order for us to give freely and fully to others, we must first be prepared to do the same for ourselves. If we let our personal reserves run dry, we will have nothing left worth offering. The first step is to truly understand and embrace this concept, and realize that it is not selfish to consider oneself when offering this gift.

People often confuse self-care and compassion, with being selfish or self-absorbed. It may even be considered morally “wrong”. However, it is important to know your own worth – emotionally and physically. As people, we, too, need the very same love and affection, care and concern, we are taught to give to others. It is truly essential to not only our own well-being, but to the well-being of everyone we love and care about!

In order to keep the proverbial well from running dry, we need to be mindful of our limitations, expectations and boundaries. We need to include ourselves when thinking about, planning for and providing sensitivity, understanding, forgiveness, insight and advice. We also need to be gentle on ourselves and less judgmental, just as we would hope to be for anyone we are engaging with, on a personal and emotional level. In receiving compassion from ourselves, we are better equipped to impart it on others, and as such, we help make this world a better, gentler and kinder place for all!