This week, a teacher suggested a practice of self compassion without self-deception. This calls us to look at a fact pattern peacefully without judgement & with forgiveness and curiosity. What is there for us to learn when we discern the truth of our behavior, habits, and beliefs?
If we believe that everything is energy – every thought, fear, emotion – then we acknowledge it has a natural rhythm. A coming and going; beginning and end. Just like our breath, it arrives, fulfills its purpose, and without clinging or stickiness, leaves as gracefully as it entered.
It’s easy to allow our breath to enter and exit with ease because we have no story around our breath. Fear, on the other hand, is shrouded with story, and it is the story that breeds shame and shame that breeds coagulation in our body. Our fear literally hardens and lodges into our cellular being; locking itself in our heart, lungs, hips. And over time, our fear becomes our way of being.
There’s a humanness to this reality, and this is where self-compassion comes in. Can you just notice where fear has solidified in your body and give yourself permission to feel it deeply? Just let it be and sit in its discomfort? For we know this fear isn’t really “stuck” in our bones – we’re simply choosing to live the story that it is.
And when we’ve honored it by feeling it deeply, much like the breath completes its function and exits, we can then allow it to drain from our being. Breathe it out.
And as new fears arise, simply breathe them in fully. Sit in their discomfort and feel them completely. Allow yourself to experience their teaching & their pain. And then when you are done, breathe out what you want more of in your life.
This may be counterintuitive as we typically practice breathing in what we want more and out what we want less of. However, by breathing in what we no longer want, we invite ourselves to process it completely. By breathing out what we desire, we share our learning and light with the world. This practice of sharing strength and beauty through our breath reminds us we are not alone.
Through the practice of self-compassion without self deception, we skillfully balance self-acceptance and growth. Through the practice of breathing in discomfort, being with it, and breathing out peace, we remember we are one of many; standing in service of a global community of human beings struggling just as we do. Our biggest fears are teaching opportunities for us to have compassion for the world.