We’ve all been there. That place where tired was two weeks ago and the-lack-of-parking-on-a-rainy-night-when-you’ve-already-worked-for-FOURTEEN-hours-and-just-want-to-get-home-to-shower-and-eat-peanut-butter-from-a-jar-DAMNIT feels SO personal that it makes you question God. Or, Buddha. Or, ____ (you know what I mean…).
This volatile field of ‘did you really leave all those dishes for me’ and ‘Facebook is making me question my self-worth’ is what some yogis might call “the edge.” I call it fertile ground.
Because let’s face it, there is no better way to grow our loving-kindness than to be ‘forced’ to offer it to ourselves.
To Thine Own Self Be Compassionate
Part of learning self-compassion is noting when we lack it. We need to ask the right questions instead of continually allow ourselves to shame ourselves with hardened expectations and consequences. We need to be mindful and treat ourselves gently. Jack Kornfield writes: “mindfulness does not reject experience. It lets experience be the teacher.” We cannot wait for our lives to match the story; we need to use our stories, as they are, to embody our lives!
What Can I Learn From This?
One of the most healing things I’ve learned to practice is curiosity. Being a big believer in karma (not coming back as a bug but as energetic weightiness), I’ve learned to see how my actions and states are largely informed by causality. MY causality. This is not to say that I do not have agency, but that it is important to make a choice to live in action not reaction.
The ‘bad news’ in all of this is that that breakdown was a consequence of choices. Can you be kind to that?
Instead of begrudging a script of 'WFT Shiva?!?', try getting curious. For me, this means owning not just my actions but also my beliefs (my sweetheart says I need to practice “flexibility of mind”). I ask myself: how am I a part of this? What can I learn? What point was I trying to pin on the universe?
Again, we can’t, and shouldn’t, wait for the universe to prove us wrong; especially not when we have so much say in what happens in our lives!
Choose Your Way
Victor Frankl writes that “when we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” In other words, losing your shit, and then eventually surrendering to the situation and learning to move past it—this will make you grow!
So the next time you get pissed and lose your shit, just remember—this is an exercise for you to look within and beyond yourself so you can become a better and stronger person.