Here is a three step process to completely eliminate self-pity. Step One - Self-Pity is a judgment, not a feeling, call it by it's real name. That persistent sensation is not "self-pity" it's something like 'sadness' or 'grief' or 'loss'. Use a feeling word list, like the one below, to find out what precisely what the 'something' is. Say some of the words out loud while the feeling is going on. When you get closer to the right word, you will feel a bit of flutter in the "self
In the early 90s I met a bodyworker who persuaded me to get a massage. Because of my childhood, I experienced non-sexual touch as painful and I found bodies vaguely disturbing ("oogy" was the word I used) but I let her work on me anyway.
Two months later I was handing Kleenix to a therapist. Six months after that I was in freefall. Everything I had so carefully put together - my marriage, my job, my home, even my identity was tumbling away.
Against this spinning backd
I want to address two traps: Becoming free does not require the other person's cooperation. Becoming free does not have to be done before the other person dies. Forgiving the unrepentant.
You have already paid by being your father's child. You paid with suffering, confusion, humiliation. Perhaps, as I did, you paid with bruises and blood. Healing is how you collect what you paid for. Insight, compassion, release, a wicked sense of humor, abiding peace, the determination n
If you had told me when I was ten that I would be spending my life immersed in suffering, frankly, I wouldn't have been surprised. I would have looked at you with a thousand-yard stare and said, "I'd hoped things would get better." What I couldn't know was that most of the suffering wouldn't be mine. Some say we can find peace in two ways; the first is to be so blessed, so naive, that you imagine the world as safe. The second is to have been so buffeted by suffering that you
When I was two, my mother broke my arm because I couldn't stop crying.
Part One -- suffering in
My mother had dreamed of having children, but she struggled with rage. Looking back now, I know she was horrified and ashamed by what she had done.
To my mother, evil was something that made her feel bad, after my broken arm that something was me. It eased her discomfort to believe that she was only responding to my true nature. She was a victim, if you will, of her child's
Some people are better at empathy than compassion, so they tend to focus on themselves when they encounter distress. There are two ways to respond to suffering: Compassion is tied to the present moment. A compassionate person resonates with the distress in front of them, rather than the events that brought the suffering about. Compassion is an immediate, uncomfortable sensory experience. Because it's embodied, it's often tied to action, but is frequently without words. Whe
It's easy to forget that every time we focus on something we are not focusing on something else. Here is an article from 2013 about the Boston Marathon Bombings... It's the answer to a Quora question about how to comfort people affected by a mass murder. In light of yesterday's shooting in Dallas, I needed to read it again. -------------- I think those most affected by the bombing would be least comforted by words. For them, the support of strangers is a phenomenon like the
Like so many things, the purpose of forgiveness is not the end of the process. The purpose of dance is not to finish dancing. The purpose of a vacation is not the plane ride home. The purpose of forgiveness is to transform pain into insight, and suffering into depth. Forgiveness starts right in the core of resentment and anger the second we become willing to let it go. If you have been trying to forgive for years, for years you have been forgiving. It is a wise and honest
Empathy invites us to imagine how we would feel if it had happened to us. Our friend's suffering makes us think about ourselves. It is relative to our experience and preferences. We become like Goldilocks, testing out our friend's bed. To illustrate, let's take an event - a miscarriage - and see how empathy can fall apart.
The Bed is Too Hard (I'm having a hard time relating).
Maybe we will never have a miscarriage ourselves. We're male or maybe joyfully childfree and o
Some people say "justice" but they're thinking vengeance or punishment. The desire for vengeance or punishment is not compatible with compassion - although I think we should be compassionate for those who clamour for these.
If justice means "equitable, impartial and righteous" then justice is a form of compassion.
Compassion means to meet suffering with love. It does not mean to be permissive or indulgent. What we call evil, is suffering passed on to someone else. I