Friday, September 16, 2016

I've Been Selfish (an exercise in compassion)

Something shifts when you feel the need to protect yourself emotionally all the time.  Your self-worth disintegrates and it takes a while to get it back.  You have to fight the voices in your head telling you that you are selfish and even delusional for believing you deserve better.  Like you are not being grateful for what you do have by wanting something different.  Most of the time those voices are not your own...

So you do it.  Every morning you get up and you tell yourself that you are worthy of wearing your favourite clothes.  You deserve to enjoy your breakfast, you remind yourself just as you were about to stuff something in your mouth in order to be there for someone else.  Next thing you know, you are taking the time to fix your coffee just right and buying jeans that fit.  You are letting go of conflicts and letting go of the people who always seem to be in the middle of them.  You are beginning to do more than just dream of the things that bring you joy; you are doing them.  You surround yourself with people who make you feel good.

Then you look around one day and ask yourself, do I make the people around me feel good too?

Because for so long you focused on just you, that you forgot how to think of others.  Maybe you thought that it would come naturally.  Maybe you thought that if you were happy you'd simply bring others joy... And you do.  But are you kind? Are you considerate? Can you now turn back on that part of yourself who thought about other's feelings before you said or did something?

Because to leave, you had to turn that off didn't you?  You had to put yourself first, you had to ignore the pleas, the explanations, the tears of those you knew  would only bring you harm.

You also know that this loving part of you is what got you so stuck to begin with.  You feel like your empathy betrayed you, your compassion made you a target. You blame your naivety for this last traumatic disaster.

Maybe it's time.  Maybe it's okay to look back into another person's heart, to care about how they would feel about your actions.  It's okay that you turned cold to get out of a hot mess.  It's okay that you built this wall of ice. Now try to remember: you chose these people carefully, let them in and care about them.

Trust yourself.

Trust your heart.

The last step in complete worthiness is knowing you are worthy of the joy of giving without fear.

You are safe now.