Loving and forgiving and accepting and being kind to ourselves aren’t skills that we master overnight.
They strengthen through a continuous cycle of action and reflection. They’re developed and nurtured over time and with lots of practice.
And it all starts with awareness. Because the emotional edifice of loving ourselves cannot be built without a bedrock of intention upon which to hoist the first beam.
Demello said it best in his classic book of spiritual wisdom.
In awareness, you keep your softness, your subtleness, your gentleness, your openness, your flexibility, and you don’t push, change simply occurs.
In my own quest to be more compassionate towards myself, I’ve been working on catching unkind thoughts upstream. Nipping cruelty in the bud before it becomes systemic.
One of the awareness techniques I find helpful is to objectively say to myself:
Aha, now here’s one of those times when I might be tempted to beat myself up. Interesting.
And that’s it. Nothing else happens. I’m just noticing the moment.
By stopping for a breath or two and making this observation and feeling where it lives in my body, I’m able to acknowledge that my pain is deserving of a kinder and more caring response, as opposed to thinking, god you’re such an idiot.
Even if I don’t always follow up that moment with a supportive arm around my own shoulder, at least the awareness is there. Which is a huge victory in itself.
Because it changes the way I relate to my own imperfection, which changes my overall experience of living.
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What do you say to yourself to catch unkind emotions upstream?
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.
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