Friday, June 20, 2008

Compassion? What’s that again? Oh, you mean that thing I give to OTHER people…

I am a loving, generous person who generally believes the best of people, who generally believes that people are doing the best they can at that moment, and who commits utterly to the concept that we are here on the planet to grow, learn, experience, and evolve.

Unless it’s me.

Then I am just… failing to meet the minimum standard, which apparently for me, means perfect. Hmmm. There is something not right about that. Seriously, though, even when I am consciously trying to increase my level of self kindness, I get busted for the self-deprecating or down right mean ways I talk (and think) about myself.

I was just talking to a friend about being more compassionate and called myself a DORK in the same sentence. And I didn’t notice. She pointed it out, kindly and gently. This time I laughed. Other times, I would then use that “error” to beat myself up even more. Good times.

Sometimes I almost get it. The golden ring is at my fingertips. I notice myself being really kind to me, and notice it extending to being even more compassionate to others. Especially my son. Especially when he is pushing my buttons. By being 4.

It’s an awful lot like Douglas Adam’s description of learning to fly. You start by falling and then you distract yourself and just forget to hit the ground. And then you keep… forgetting to hit the ground. I can go on like that for a while, but inevitably, I look down. And fall. And blame myself for falling.

I genuinely want to fly, but I just keep looking down. Douglas Adams said you need something really distracting to make it work. I wonder what really distracting thing I could use to help me remember that I, too, am a member of this evolving race of beings just trying to learn? A tattoo across my forehead, perhaps? No, that would just remind others. I don’t spend that much time looking in mirrors except when I am making funny faces at the baby. A piece of crazy jewelry? What would remind me to remind me to notice the jewelry? Hmmm. This is getting complicated.

OK, I will try just being kinder to myself again. No reminders, no gimmicks. The trick is being kind when I fall.

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