Sometimes all you need is a hug.  There’s really nothing that beats the feeling of being held.  No words necessary.  You just need to know you’re not alone.  There’s someone there.  They feel you.  A little tender compassion can go a long way.

There are times we can’t rely on others to offer us the compassion we need.  Sometimes they don’t know the whole story.  Sometimes there’s no one else around.  Sometimes, all the time, we need to be able to turn inward and know we’ll be okay.

So, here’s what to do: hug yourself.  You can offer yourself compassion.  You don’t need to wait to receive it from someone else.  Meditate with a hand on your heart.  Envision yourself being bathed in warm light.  Picture your wounded self – whether it’s the childhood version or the current landscape of your hurting heart – being supported, accepted, and healed.  Imagine cradling a version of yourself in your arms.  Offer love and compassion to the child inside.

Suffering is part of the human experience.  We can’t avoid it – try as we might.  If we resist it, push against it, it’s grip on us will only grow stronger.  Though it may be hard, we need to honor our experience, even if it occasionally involves suffering.