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Indexing Self-compassion

Recently I was feeling less than happy with myself for a variety of reasons.  I’m a ‘doer’, so I was doing a lot.  The only thing is, I was doing it all for other people (family, friends, spouse, students), and expecting them to join my “movement”.  However, as I learned years ago, and have now re-learned, we cannot bring everyone with us on our own journey.  We cannot take responsibility for someone else’s life or even one aspect of it.  We should not hold ourselves accountable for others’ actions or inaction.

It turns out that the index finger is the most dexterous and sensitive finger on the hand; is most frequently used for pointing, and is the digit representing the number 1.

This is not our job, and it never inspires change or growth.  So, as I slowly returned to my senses, and was reminded of my own need to change and grow, I became inspired by a certain campaign for self-compassion that came from a dear friend’s blog http://www.throwingbacktokens.wordpress.com.

The campaign is called #redthumbforlove, and while it was aimed at teachers (one of my roles I was struggling with), and perfectly timed (as I was trying to DO my lesson plans for our new school year), I did not participate.  I was moved by the notion and concept of painting one’s thumbnail red as a reminder to practice self-compassion, but ignored it and continued to beat myself up over the many areas in which I was doing everything, while no one else seemed to be doing anything, and being left with the feeling that nothing really got done!  Painting my nails is a regular ritual for me, so you would think it would have made an immediate impact, but noooo.  I was too busy forcing myself to create, produce, plan, execute, DO…I don’t even know what.  It was just something I thought I HAD TO DO!  That is, until I broke a nail.

That break was just what I needed, in every sense of the word.  It reminded me to take a break, and file down the lengths I was going to for others.  It reminded me to remove the old “polish” I thought I was displaying to the world, and to buff out the stains left by the disappointment in myself.  It reminded me to take care, repair and prepare myself for a new way to color my world – the color of self-compassion.

A kiss for self-compassion

A kiss for self-compassion

So, for my own personal twist on the original #redthumbforlove campaign, I painted my left index fingernail red, and added a white arrow pointing back toward me.  It turns out that the index finger is the most dexterous and sensitive finger on the hand; is most frequently used for pointing, and is the digit representing the number 1.  ALL perfect reminders for me to coat myself in a warm, passionate color, and to become more agile in pointing myself in the direction of heartfelt compassion, and above all, remember that I am #1!

So 2 thumbs up to the #redthumbforlove campaigners for the inspiration and ‘movement’ of me, and many others!  We’re all #1!

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