I was truly inspired after I listened to a podcast recently from the unbelievably smart Sas Pethrick. It was the 30th episode of her podcast called Courage and Spice and she interviewed Jane Reeves, author of a book I recently bought on practicing Loving Kindness (aka Compassion) titled A Heart of Gold. The reason I originally got the book? Because I have come to believe that the only way out of the self-torment and judgment cycle I’ve been subjecting myself to for the greater part of my life is to practice self-compassion. And these two ladies know it too.
Their conversation was one of those deep kind that gives me goosebumps and ahas every couple of minutes. There are more nuances to being mindful and kind to yourself than you would think. For instance, to be a good friend to yourself as well as anyone else, sometimes all you need to do is just be present. No questions or comments. No fix-it suggestions or “it’ll be ok, you’ll see”s. Just being a compassionate witness is ll that’s required. And that if we can not show up and be present for ourselves, we certainly aren’t available for others.
That kind of reflection of worthiness and worth isn’t easy to come up with for ourselves. But, as Jane and Sas spoke about imagining a grandparent or a beloved person witnessing you and being there, I realized that is what people ask their God to be: a kind gentle powerful reflection of the light of their worth. That is a gift faith gives you, self-love and self-acceptance. Compassion for your humanity. We’re coming from a deficit and need a little help.
Another thought that these two women brought up was that we intellectually know that as human beings, we will always suffer. But we keep hoping we can avoid this pain somehow. And this avoidance looks a lot like over-eating, over-drinking, over-shopping, etc. But if we were to concede to our humanity and know we’ll be able to get through the inevitable pain by just being here with ourselves until it passes, we could have such a better time of it all.
But God already knew that compassion is key.
What if you didn’t have to fix it all but just had to be present with the pain until it subsided and it all felt slightly better to make the next choice? How would you view change? It would be a little easier wouldn’t it.
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