SELF-COMPASSION BRINGS YOU INTO THE PRESENT
(From Oprah and Deepak “Become What You Believe”- Day 13)
Belief in the power of now, this present moment, is, as Eckart Tolle tells us, “The mightiest way to be alive.” When we become an aware presence, when we inhabit space apart from past or future, we move into a dimension that is more compassionate and more beautiful, deeper than the ongoing stream of thoughts that are inside us. Eckart called in “stillness; awakening”. It’s a place beyond judgment and of freedom and a path to that place.
Life becomes so much more expansive when you release the past and open fully to each present moment. Apart from the influences of the past and worries of the future you are your true self, open and filled with light. Deepening your heart space for yourself and others brings you into the fullness of this moment. Having kind thoughts, loving feelings, a sense of worth, arise quite powerfully right here in this moment. And in this present moment comes a sense of aliveness that is sacred…it’s life at its richest.
You do become what you believe, and when you believe in the power and presence that this moment brings, you are in the most joyful way linked to the divine.
Two weeks ago I tried to sit quietly while my husband was having open-heart surgery. I tried so hard not to think, but to be quiet and in the moment and live from my heart. Usually I can do this fairly easily…to be mindful of the here and now…what is perfectly right at this moment in front of me.
But during those endless hours I prepared for the worst. I envisioned the doctor telling me my husband didn’t make it. I envisioned getting on that plane alone and entering our home alone, without him forever. I envisioned our sons coming to comfort me and to take care of what was to be attended to at that time.
But being an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous and a grateful recovering alcoholic, I quickly reminded myself that I have a Higher Power and that I am not in control. Everything happens for a reason, with or without my consent or approval. Get back in the moment, Dee, and enjoy the beautiful hospital grounds and appreciate the excellent staff who so graciously and compassionately embraced us and our situation.
If there is a greater purpose for my husband off this earth, then be okay with that…embrace that. If he makes it through the surgery, his life and purpose here is not complete. But, dang, get back in the moment!
My husband made it through the surgery. He is recovering beautifully and I get to enjoy him, share my life with him, for awhile longer!
And I can forgive myself for those fleeting thoughts and lack of faith that everything happens for a reason. My faith has been strengthened!
Overcoming self-judgment is one of the most important ways to reach your true self. When you no longer judge against yourself, you open a path to the four core beliefs we have been expanding…I am loving and lovable. I am worthy. I am safe and trusting. I am fulfilled and whole. This is known as the Path of Self-Compassion, the ability to be kind to oneself. It’s strange to observe how much harder it is to be kind to oneself than to others. Guilt and shame block our ability to care for ourselves, creating a reality where self-kindness is hard to reach. But the path of self-compassion is always open. Self-judgment is based on unreality. Caring for yourself brings you into the present moment, which is real. Judging against yourself on the other hand takes you out of the present moment by remembering old hurts, traumas and negative experiences in the past. For everyone personal reality is a mixture of the present and the past. When we care for ourselves in any way, kind thoughts bring feelings and a sense of worth arrives here and now. So self-kindness in the moment comes naturally. It isn’t necessary to fight against self-judgment. All the fighting is taking place with memories of the past. The present moment renews us without a debt to the past. This is important because the pull of the past is quite strong. The next time you find yourself feeling guilt or shame gently remind yourself, “That is NOT who I am.”
You are never defined by your thoughts, feelings or memories. You are the true self renewing itself in every moment. In everyone’s life there is a gap between the person we are at this moment and the many versions of ourselves we were in the past. You have played the role of child, sibling, schoolmate, confused adolescent, young adult and many other roles that contribute to your life. But they are not you real self, here and now.
Once the old conditioning of the past is diminished, it has no hold anymore. Life becomes the joyful activity of living in the here and now. You see yourself as the light of life.
The presence of myself is compassionate.
Having worked the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous on a few different occasions has taught me how fear-based my life was before getting sober. It also showed me how empty my life was without a Higher Power. Today I don’t have to live fear-based nor without a Power Greater than Myself.
I can overcome self-judgment and that comes with being able to love myself, in my own skin, at this present moment, for who I am and where I came for. We all have our defects…our negativities. But we all also have our gifts and uniqueness. And sharing those gifts…and our experience, strength and hope…with one another I believe is our lifes’ purpose. Wonderful how different our stories are and how yours enrich my life, and vice versa.
Stay in the moment. Love yourself for who you are. I do! And share yourself and your journeys with the world!