Got Compassion?


Truth be told, I haven’t been feeling very magical this week.

After two weeks of travel, illness, and non-vacation “vacation” days, I have fallen into the trap of feeling sorry for myself.

Can you dig?

It’s in these moments that I get stuck in the flypaper of negative thinking. Focusing on everything that isn’t the way I want it to be. Everything I think I need to “FIX.”

The flypaper gives me the ILLUSION I’m in control, because I can get angry at everything and everyone, including me, and wave my tiny fists in the air and make a lot of noise.

But in the end, this really only leaves me feeling POWERLESS.

Powerless to CHANGE,
Powerless to GROW,
Powerless to feel JOY,
Powerless to CONNECT.

For me, the only way OUT of this situation is IN.

Even as I type this, I stop for a moment, close my eyes, take a few breaths in and out, and GET STILL.

Here’s what I feel right now, in the stillness:

My feet on the floor, butt in the chair…
Congestion in my chest, tightness in my shoulders…
A slight headache knocking at the door to my temples.
My son is playing a Weird Al Yankovic song while watching the World Cup on TV and getting cracker crumbs all over the couch.

I feel annoyance rising like a warm fire from my solar plexus.

As I breathe, I can see there is A LOT going on for me right now that I’m struggling to hold. It’s not just the crumbs.

My work is going very well, and may well be about to explode into some very big, exciting projects, which is awesome but also overwhelming. My son is home for the summer with tons of different camps and activities we need to coordinate, making me feel stretched. My mother is visiting, and I can see that she isn’t well, and that saddens and frightens me. And my husband is healing from a challenging illness himself, so the BALANCE of the family is kind of “off.”

But, I also realize that I am SAFE in this moment. I tell myself this, literally, out loud: “I am not in danger right now. I am sitting in my chair, typing an email.”

…and that’s pretty much it. All those FEELINGS are interpretations I put ONTO what’s actually happening.

[Deep breath in and out. Feel my body in this chair.]

There’s a lot going on in this moment, and it’s no wonder I’m feeling like a trapped fly!

But, guys — it’s only in the STILLNESS that I’m able to SEE that I have CHOICE right now. 

I can choose the accessible responses of anger, frustration, or SELF-JUDGMENT: “I can’t get anything done and I feel like crap, I should just give up right now, drink wine, and go to bed.”

Or I can choose COMPASSION: “All that I’m feeling in this moment is fear. Fear of not being able to handle all that’s in front of me. These feelings are my body’s alarm bells warning me of ‘danger.’”

And knowing this, I can talk to my body (and my ego) — not to make the feelings go away, but to EMBRACE them as a natural part of being human.This is my body protecting me from a sensation it has tagged as dangerous in my life: “If I can’t handle it all, I will fail; and if I fail, I will be rejected.” Whether or not this is TRUE is irrelevant to the body. Its sole purpose is to keep me alive at all costs.

Knowing this, I can lean into my higher mind, my prefrontal cortex, my spiritual core, and offer my body some GRATITUDE and COMPASSION. I can speak to her like the little girl she was when she programmed these patterns.

“Thank you for all that you’ve done to get me in this life.
I cannotlive here on Earth without you. 

I understand how you feel, and I feel it too.
But we are safe right now, and we’re going to make the choice to explore, not to suffer.
I’ve got this now. I am safe.
This moment is heavy, and full of many emotions.
But I am not in danger. I will not die.
I can feelsadness, and frustration, and worry,

and I can also feel joy, and excitement, and freedom.
This is life.”

I choose CURIOSITY about my inner world over FEAR of it.
I choose to make friends with my SHADOWS, in order to bring it to the LIGHT.
I understand that I am NOT powerless. I simply AM.
That’s the place to start.

In every moment, this is the place to start.

Do try this at home! Let me know what you discover. I would love to hear your experience, too.

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