Have you heard about “fierce self-compassion”? Because you need to!

Have you heard about “fierce self-compassion”? Because you need to!

If you’ve ever been told “it’s the thought that counts” well, that’s only half right.

Thoughts are important, obviously; but happiness and success in life also require action.

Happiness also requires self-compassion; but self-compassion also needs to be acted on for ALL of us to enjoy happiness and wellbeing…

by Kristin Neff

The drama that just unfolded in the Senate confirmation hearings for the U.S. Supreme Court is just one more example of why women need fierce compassion. Why feminine ideals of care need to include anger and resolve if we are ever going to stop being controlled by men. It took tremendous bravery and courage for Dr. Blasey Ford to tell the world about her memories of the humiliating and sexually aggressive way that Judge Kavanaugh violated her as a teenager. She has since had to go into hiding out of fear for her life. How many of us women have experienced something similar in a less public way? A narcissistic man who believes he has the right to sexually abuse us because he is empowered by patriarchy to do so.

How many of us have remained silent because we didn’t want to rock the boat or risk being judged for putting ourselves in a compromising position?

Largely as a concession to the #MeToo movement, the predominantly male Senate judiciary committee and Judge Kavanaugh himself did not try to discredit Dr. Blasey Ford or question her morality because they knew it would create a backlash. Instead, they portrayed her as a confused victim, to be pitied but not believed. What really struck me, however, was the demeanor of Dr. Blasey Ford herself. While she spoke with confidence when discussing her area of expertise — the psychology of trauma — at other times she spoke like a young girl who needed to placate all these powerful men so they would like her. This doesn’t undercut the courage she showed for being there — it was tremendous — but she clearly felt she had to be soft and sweet to be heard. And she was probably right. Imagine if she had shown her righteous anger at Kavanaugh for derailing her life, she indeed would have been discredited. She was allowed to show her pain at being victimized, but no more. Kavanaugh, in contrast, was celebrated by many of the male senators for being angry and enraged at being “wrongly” accused.

This is why women need fierce compassion. Compassion is aimed at the alleviation of suffering – that of others or ourselves – and can be ferocious as well as tender. These two poles are represented by the dialectic of yin and yang. Yin compassion is like a mother tenderly comforting her crying child. Yang compassion is like a mother bear ferociously protecting her cubs from harm. Traditional gender roles allow women to be yin, but if a woman is too yang — if she gets angry or fierce — people get scared and often insulting. Men are allowed to be yang, but if a man shows vulnerability he risks being kicked out of the boys’ club of power. In many ways the #MeToo movement can be seen as the collective arising of female yang. We are finally speaking up to protect ourselves, our sisters, our daughters and sons. Thank goodness…

…keep reading the full & original article HERE