It’s much easier to tell a loved one that everything is going to be alright when in fear compared to telling ourselves. Can we ever truly become our own best friend?
I believe so, but first we need to learn to read ourselves as easily as our children.
Emotional sobriety and radical self-compassion are key, but how to get there?
Tara Brach has a lovely 10min meditation for this purpose, and I will outline Michele MdDonalds easy-to-remember RAIN tool in this post.
Recognise what’s going on inside
Everyone has their own way of coping with suffering.
There’s a whole menu to choose from: addiction, denial and lashing out against yourself or others.
Do you find it easy to sit with your thoughts, emotions and behaviour, listening to them drip into your consciousness one by one? Do not force insight, let it come to you while you breath, naming whatever comes up.
Allow the experience to be what it is
The longer we ignore our truth, the harder it will be to acknowledge it.
It’s human to impose our own opinion onto whatever presents itself to us. There’s a difference between accepting and admitting reality. But can you let your truth be free of all imposed meaning, and not try to change it? If there is resistance, shame of an urge to blame: note it, then give life a pause.
Investigate with care and interest
As long as your curiosity is just a little bit larger than your fear, you will be fine.
Now that we have a better idea of the what, we can turn towards the why. If the intention is pure, self-compassion will arrive naturally. This will feel awkward, and you will certainly panic at first when facing your own suffering. I found it soothing to focus on my diaphragm raising and falling, my shoulders dropping and my forehead uncurling. My body rewards me for self-loving.
Nurture with self-compassion
Natural awareness arises when we give up the need to identify as separate to others.
Stories we tell ourselves to escape our truth limit our awareness. We don’t strip our conditioning all at once; by allowing ourself unconditional love regularly, we will no longer need to ignore our true nature. When we’re not worried about getting our ‘fair share’, we can see all that we are blessed with instead. We have the space in our souls to explore our true nature/