Can You Stand The Rain: Self-Compassion Skills For Weathering Life’s Adversities

Dealing With Life’s Adversities

Self-Compassion is a necessary skill for weathering life’s adversities.  It teaches us a very important lesson.  Adversity is not bested by engaging with it in adversarial ways.  In fact, the more you fight it, the more involved you become with it.  It takes over your personal story, your path, at least for as long as you engage it in the present.  This way of dealing with adversity prolongs it, and makes you believe that it is of increasingly greater value the more time you spend focusing on it.

The Rabbit Story

If this is unclear in any way, consider a rabbit on her way to the carrot patch.  A tree limb breaks off on her way, and startles her.  She becomes indignant, and begins to argue with the tree.  The tree does not respond, so she argues with God.  God seems to ignore her too, so she begins to think of all of the people, who have mistreated her, and not apologized.  Suddenly, night is upon her.  She is very hungry, and alone.  The tree still does not care, and she is no closer to the carrot patch.

Life is like this for many of us.  We get cut off in traffic on our way to work.  Someone at our job treats us badly one day.  We lose our favorite gloves.  Our favorite television show is cancelled.  These grievances disturb us, and we begin to generalize these immediate episodes to the larger problem of people mistreating us, and not taking responsibility for their actions.  Soon, we find that much time has passed, and we are no closer to meeting our immediate needs, and pursuing our long-term goals.

Shared Vulnerability

We are all vulnerable to this.  This is where self-compassion comes in.  You acknowledge the suffering.  You make room for it.  You notice where tension lies in your body, and you soften around it.  You name this distressing feeling, thought, or experience, and watch it as it passes.  You give yourself the kindness that you need.  Now, and only now, are you in a place to see how important this event is in the development of the attributes you need to live a good and happy life.  If this event is important, you make time for it, and take action.  If it is not, you put yourself first, and refocus on your story.

The Path To Success And Happiness

The truth is that if you continue to pursue your dreams and healthy relationships that you will eventually find them.  Of course, there will be some bumps in the road.  If you are having a particularly bad week, then these bumps will feel like craters.  You will need more patience with yourself, and more kindness.  Look to my earlier entry on filling up the tank.  You may have to completely commit yourself for a day or two to simply refilling the tank, as this upset may be indicative of being overworked and overstressed.  When this is our situation, we just need to do more to heal, and to revitalize ourselves.

Whether you need to take a little bit of time or a lot of time to address these issues, do so with the understanding that taking care of yourself could not be more important to making sure that your future is meaningful, healthy, happy, and full of ease.  What could be more important than that?  Wishing you all of these things, and more.

365 Days Of Self-Compassion.  Day 145.  In The Books.