Offer Yourself Compassion for Your Dream

Fields of Compassion

You may be afraid to follow your dream. If so, offer yourself compassion for the fear, for that (likely) small child receiving that wound – terrified.

Then give yourself some compassion for the wounds that caused the fear. Let yourself feel the hurt and pain that wound produced, using doses of compassion when it gets difficult to feel your feelings.

Offer it to yourself because you are wounded. You have been struck with a sliver to the heart and it has festered all these years, creating a barrier for love to flow in and out , back and forth between you and the world.  

Compassion is your ability to feel sympathy or sorrow for another’s suffering, usually associated with a desire to help.

In this case, it is the sorrow your soul feels for the suffering you have had over the years. Have you been miserable emotionally, hiding that misery from others with things such as self-medicating, blaming others for it?

Know that you can admit to the feelings. In fact, it is better to acknowledge them, so you can feel and deal with them. Hopefully, you apologized to yourself for having the belief that you are alone in the world, for you are not. Know that there are people waiting to help and support you. 

Back to “getting over it.” When you are told  to just get over the pain and resentment, a disservice has just been done to you, and it is detrimental to your healing, in my humble opinion. Offer yourself compassion for that guilt you feel over the comment, for your thought that there is something wrong with you, that you “should” be able to get over “it,” whatever “it” is…

There is nothing wrong with you. You are experiencing your own timetable in your healing. This is assuming you are taking action to heal, as opposed to doing nothing and blaming.

It has been my experience that I needed to look at my emotions carefully. That was nearly impossible, as I couldn’t even identify them, let alone name them. It took longer for me than for other people.

At times, the people I would vent to were unavailable , either not present physically or emotionally. I cannot blame them. In fact, I send them my gratitude for their compassionate hearts and offer THEM compassion for the draining times they had listening to my woes.

Well, I have meandered with this concept of compassion and offering it to ourselves. I love free-form writing, stream-of-consciousness… One other thing to note is that compassion is an integral part of forgiveness, which, if we want to make peace with our lives, we need to extend to others and to ourselves. Compassion is a salve to use during this process.

How do you show compassion to yourself? Have you ever used it to get to peace?

 

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How to Handle Self-Doubt About Your Dream

Shadows of Doubt

How do we handle self-doubt about our dream, our heart’s desire? This is, interestingly, something that has come up for me in relation to my own dream of becoming a speaker. It seems like I am going through the process of the book with you in relation to following our heart’s desire to fulfill our souls. 

Just like the image to the left, the right side of the image is like our mind when we go into self-doubt. It is filled with “stuff,” chaos, everything going which-way. On the other hand, when we are out of self-doubt, when we are confident in our endeavor, our mind is light and airy, like on the left side of the image.

How do we get to that point? We start by identifying our feelings of doubt. We need to allow them to be, without ignoring or numbing them. As we feel that feeling in the pit of our stomachs, what is going on?

For me, that was sheer terror when I felt that feeling. In looking at it further, I whittled it down again and again until I determined that what I was terrified about was having to speak without my notes, that I would forget what I was talking about, and that I was terrified I would look stupid to the audience, like I had no clue what I was talking about.

Ah, the old ego comes into play. So, I had to ask myself why I am so terrified of looking stupid and I trace it back to repeatedly being told that I WAS stupid, pretty much my entire life. When one hears such words reinforced so much, one begins to believe them.

Now I can look at myself and all the times I was told I was stupid with great compassion. I can hold that child, that adult, in my heart and wrap her with love and compassion. I can tell her that it was a lie, that it was said by troubled people who felt that about themselves, perhaps. But none-the-less, troubled people.

And then, I can look at the others with compassion. Holding us all in a space of compassion allows me to get into my heart instead of my mind. It is at that point that I am able to remember why I am doing this dream in the first place. I remind myself I am becoming a speaker to share my message with people who are struggling, to relay how I got through some very rocky times, and that they can also.

My people are waiting for me, just like your people are waiting for you with whatever gift you have to offer. It becomes about the other person and when it does, your thoughts are off of yourself and your terror, if it is fear which you are feeling. It becomes instead how you can be of service to another. Suddenly, confidence replaces the self-doubt, and you can move forward with your actions in the direction of your dream.

 

 

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How to Handle Self-Doubt About Your Dream

Shadows of Doubt

How do we handle self-doubt about our dream, our heart’s desire? This is, interestingly, something that has come up for me in relation to my own dream of becoming a speaker. It seems like I am going through the process of the book with you in relation to following our heart’s desire to fulfill our souls. 

Just like the image to the left, the right side of the image is like our mind when we go into self-doubt. It is filled with “stuff,” chaos, everything going which-way. On the other hand, when we are out of self-doubt, when we are confident in our endeavor, our mind is light and airy, like on the left side of the image.

How do we get to that point? We start by identifying our feelings of doubt. We need to allow them to be, without ignoring or numbing them. As we feel that feeling in the pit of our stomachs, what is going on?

For me, that was sheer terror when I felt that feeling. In looking at it further, I whittled it down again and again until I determined that what I was terrified about was having to speak without my notes, that I would forget what I was talking about, and that I was terrified I would look stupid to the audience, like I had no clue what I was talking about.

Ah, the old ego comes into play. So, I had to ask myself why I am so terrified of looking stupid and I trace it back to repeatedly being told that I WAS stupid, pretty much my entire life. When one hears such words reinforced so much, one begins to believe them.

Now I can look at myself and all the times I was told I was stupid with great compassion. I can hold that child, that adult, in my heart and wrap her with love and compassion. I can tell her that it was a lie, that it was said by troubled people who felt that about themselves, perhaps. But none-the-less, a troubled person.

And then, I can look at the other with compassion. Holding us all in a space of compassion allows me to get into my heart instead of my mind. It is at that point that I am able to remember why I am doing this dream in the first place. I remind myself I am becoming a speaker to share my message with people who are struggling, to relay how I got through rough times, and that they can also.

My people are waiting for me, just like your people are waiting for you with whatever gift you have to offer. It becomes about the other person and when it does, your thoughts are off of yourself and your terror, if it is fear which you are feeling. It becomes instead how you can be of service to another. Suddenly, confidence replaces the self-doubt, and you can move forward with your actions in the direction of your dream.

 

 

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How to Use Compassion – Part 1

If you’re new to this blog, welcome. The goal of this site is to help you to get and stay sober, and to find inner peace. To do that, I am going through my book, Opening the Gates of the Heart : A Journey of Healing, one topic at a time, one page at a time.

My book is a tribute to the resiliency and beauty of the human spirit. Using photographs of wrought-iron gates and inspirational prose, it tells the story of my journey that occurred as I went into and through sobriety, and how I reached inner peace.

Each day, I show the image from the book, and discuss the associated topic of that photo. Occasionally, I also share the verse that goes with the image.

Today’s topic is compassion. This follows on the heels of self-appraisal, a performance appraisal, if you will. We discussed the importance of doing such an evaluation and how doing one moves us forward in our sobriety. By doing the performance appraisal daily, it helps us to eventually find peace.

We then spoke about being gentle with ourselves when we do the appraisal. Now I’d like to suggest that we also show ourselves compassion as we unearth our undesirable traits, behaviors, and actions. To any embarrassment, shame, or remorse that arises, we send compassion.

What is compassion? Webster defines it as feeling pity or sorrow for the sufferings or troubles of another, accompanied by an urge to help. It is deep sympathy. I have two comments to make about this definition.

I don’t believe people want our pity.  Sympathy, perhaps, sorrow, yes, but not pity. Interesting then, how we pity ourselves for our shortcomings, our defects, our lessor traits of character… Maybe we want to look at that so we can learn not to continue doing it, for it is self-defeating, it makes us play small. It is not becoming of one who is sober, and it will restrict our ability to find peace.

Today, as part of learning compassion, return to the performance appraisal again and include, if you didn’t already, the ways in which you feel sorry for yourself. Get really honest about this. Look at it as a fact-finding mission, one which, when compassion is applied, will help you in your journey. It is illuminating when you shine the light on these thoughts, for then you can face them and apply compassion.

Join me tomorrow for Part 2 of How to Use Compassion, as I discuss how expanding the definition of compassion to include ourselves, leads us on our journey in sobriety and finding peace.

 

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