What Will Matter – A Self Compassion Poem by Michael Josephson

Self Compassion is a skill that most people do not spend nearly enough time learning or practicing.

Self-compassion is the process of turning compassion inwards, treating one’s self with love and acceptance in spite of failings or flaws, befriending ourselves, being there for ourselves in our time of greatest need.

Talking to one’s self compassionately works exactly like it would if you were talking to somebody else; if you are always making nasty comments, picking out your flaws and being hard on yourself, you will experience negative feelings and low self-esteem, just like someone else would if you were constantly emphasising their failings and flaws.

The good news is that this works in reverse; if you speak to yourself with respect and kindness, develop an understanding of self-compassion and practise this skill, you can learn to accept yourself, overcome your failings and look past your flaws.

Self-compassion reminds us that we have agency in our own existence. We are not simply a sum of our parts or a piece in the world’s puzzle. You too are an agent and you can choose to make choices that fulfil you and accept parts of you that others may not choose to accept. It is up to you what matters the most in your life and it is up to you to lead a life that fulfils this criteria for you.

“What Will Matter” by Michael Josephson touches on this beautifully, reminding us that in the end, what matters is the path that you choose for you, not the things you bought, the profits you made or the social constructs that you operated within.

Choose to accept yourself, choose to live a life that matters to you.

“What Will Matter”

“Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end.
There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days.

Your wealth, fame and power will shrivel to irrelevance.
Your grudges, resentments, frustrations and jealousies will finally disappear.
So too, your hopes, ambitions, plans and to-do lists will expire.
The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.

It will not matter where you came from or what side of the tracks you lived on at the end.
It will not matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant.
Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.

So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured? 

What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built,
not what you got, but what you gave.
What will matter is not your success, but your significance.

What will matter is not what you learned but what you taught.
What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example. 

What will matter is not your competence, but your character.
What will matter is not how many people you knew but how many will feel a lasting loss when you’re gone.
What will matter is not your memories but the memories of those who loved you. 

What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what.

Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident.
It’s not a matter of circumstance but of choice.
Choose to live a life that matters.”

– Michael Josephson

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