Trainer Tip: It is true that we cannot fully understand other people until we understand ourselves. Gain understanding and healing through self-empathy within the Compassionate Communication process. Trainer Tip When you really listen to yourself, you can heal yourself. —Ceanna DeRohan It is true that we cannot fully understand other people until we understand ourselves. I tried to escape this for years. I told people that I was a caring and loving person. But deep down, I struggled to feel compassion. I was consumed with anger, resentment, and an overriding belief that I was never going to be happy. It wasn’t until I looked at my own inner critic (known as the jackal in Compassionate Communi¬cation) that I started to heal. The more inner healing I received, the greater my compassion for other people grew; this result increased exponentially. Inner peace creates outward peace.I gained much of my healing through self-empathy within the Compassionate Communication process. I focused on this process for several months before I started to experience noticeable changes in my attitude and greater inner peace. It led to a remarkable shift toward the happiness and peace I now experience on a daily basis. The self-empathy process has four steps:Enjoy your inner critic. Acknowledge what the jackal says without censorship or judgment.Acknowledge your feelings. How do you feel about this situation? List all of your feelings.Acknowledge your needs. What do you need—love, support, kindness, courtesy, or something else?Make a request of yourself and others. Do you feel better simply by acknowledging your feelings and needs? Or would you like to make a request of yourself or someone else to rectify the situation? Commit to practicing self-empathy at least once today. This trainer tip is an excerpt from Mary Mackenzie's book Peaceful Living, available from PuddleDancer Press.