Self-Compassion Is Special
The Self-Compassion perspective differs from all other perspectives because it involves acknowledging the thing that distresses you, and using your senses to understand it, to forgive your response to it, and realize that on its own it may have very little meaning with the exception of violent traumas. Pema Chodron is an inspiring person, who advocates observing and refraining from acting out to avoid the displeasure wrought by the thing that ails you.
The Effects Of Miserable Weather
So, what the heck does this have to do with the weather? Well, the weather, by itself, thousands of miles from you may yield no response. However, when the sky is cloudy, grey, and it rains often in your town, even if you are able to venture out into it, and complete the day’s work, you may still be affected by it. It creates resentment in most people. They hunt up a variety of silver tongued swear words, and take aim at their environment.
It is actually nice that people take their inner frustration, and release it. In this way, they may be able to own their feelings, and get outside support. But, it may also be the case that they are slowly building a pattern of things to be disappointed in, and finally after all of their frustrated utterings they may in fact internalize the disappointment, build a home there, and eventually feel depressed.
Thich Nhat Hanh is famous for saying what you practice you will become. So, if you practice disappointment long enough, you become disappointed. Now the clouds and rain become powerful and three dimensional. They are able to hurt you, when they are present, and threaten you, when the weather seems like it might go that way.
Undoing Our Misery With Self-Compassion
In her Book, When Things Fall Apart, Pema Chodron notes that the only way out of these painful dichotomies is to encounter what we fear with our senses. After all, you will discover that rain is wet, and the sky is filled with passing (not stable) clouds. This will undo the power each of these things are said to possess, and your newfound relationship with them will lighten your existential load.
This behavior is an act of self-compassion. There is no external bully forcing you to face your fears with a stick, and shaming words. On the contrary, you are bearing witness to that which causes you harm as an act of kindness. Most things on their own are powerless, so by interacting with them we can undo that power by simply seeing them as they are.
On the rare occasion in which something has power all on its own, we still diminish its hold on us by witnessing it, and listening to what our body thinks we might do to be kind to ourselves. So, hold tight, you are a powerful, powerful well of courage and compassion. Lean in to this wisdom, and give yourself permission to encounter your experience just as you are without apology or the pressure to run from it.
365 Days Of Self-Compassion. Day 197. In The Books.