Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Phrases of Self-Compassion

Over the past week or so I've been busy digging a truckload of dung into my garden (metaphorically speaking of course, I don't think I could lift a shovel if I tried). 
As I've been digging I've been developing some phrases of self-compassion and kindness to help me as I face all the crap that surrounds me - grief, despair, helplessness and hopeless. I think of these phrases as my little cheerleading support team. They are 'Team Emma' - waving their pom-poms around and giving me a good old razzed-up cheer when I finish yet another hour of digging through my truckload of crap.
Here are a few of my phrases:
'Oh, this looks like anger.  It's here, but I'm sure I didn't do anything to deserve it. It's not my fault.'
'I don't expect too much of myself today. However I feel is fine.'
'Oh, more anger. It's OK. If I am angry, that's OK.  If I'm not angry, that's OK too.  I don't have too many expectations of how I'll feel - it could go either way.'
And, if I'm sitting with any kind of pain - emotional or physical - I say:  'Pain, yes...this is pain.  I'm so sorry.  I'm so sorry it's here.'
I've just returned from a visit to my doctor. I dragged myself out of bed to go (only realising when I arrived that my jumper didn't completely cover my pyjama top underneath. Oops!)  Anyway, as I was sitting waiting for my appointment I shut my eyes and noticed my physical discomfort.  I had a racing heart, a tight fist of tension in my stomach, and my head and back hurt. 
'Oh, this is pain,' I said to myself, 'I'm sorry.  I'm really sorry it's here.'  And, as I sat waiting the tears started rolling down my cheeks.  It was such a relief to give myself some sympathy and kind attention.  In those moments it didn't matter that other people in the waiting room could see my pyjama top peeking out the top of my jumper, or the tears on my cheeks.  I  just a great relief and sweetness at being able to express some compassion towards myself in my suffering.
The view from my front-yard at dawn.

1 comment:

  1. Beautifully expressed, Emma. I love how you first recognize the emotion and then immediately find a way to direct compassion at yourself. I'm going to try this!


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