Balance purpose, relationships, and self-care

Empathy works. It always does.

Stand your feelings: the only way out is through

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MindfulnessMindfulness is not for the weak of heart

Waking up this morning, I smile,

twenty-four brand new hours are before me.

I vow to live fully in each moment,

and to look at beings with eyes of compassion.

It couldn’t have been more untrue. I wake up tired, discouraged, somber and listless. I am willing to look at beings with eyes of compassion, but the commitment is feeble.

I wished it were different. I wished I was energetic, positive, enthusiastic, bubbly with life.

I’m not. And all the meditation and mindfulness in the world won’t change that. And that’s not what they are for. They are not tools to guarantee eternal happiness. They are not tools to never feel miserable again. On the contrary, mindfulness will bring you back to the astounding realization how miserable you feel. There is no hiding, no distraction, no cover up. You sit on your cushion and you feel your own restlessness, you drive your care and you notice how impatient you are, you feel hurt and you hear yourself scream.

Embrace your feelings with love and compassion

If anything, mindfulness brings immense clarity to what you’re actually experiencing in this moment. What your life is about right now. And it is a fantastic tool to stand these feelings. To let them penetrate you. To let them tell you what it is like to be a human being, to be you. Mindfulness helps you to feel all these human feelings with more love and understanding. “Oh, that’s what it is like to feel lonely, envious, enraged.” Whatever feeling consumes you. Mindfulness helps you to stand them. To bring some love and compassion to them. To listen to them as if they are your beloved children, long, long forgotten. They bang at your door, force their way through, and all they want is you to listen. Just listen. How scared they are, how sad, how angry. How they don’t want to feel scared, sad, angry. How they want you to help them, hold them, embrace them. And all you need to do is sit and listen. Give them space, give them some love.

And you know what? If you sit down with them and listen, they will calm down. They have been heard. That is all they wanted. They want to tell you what they need. A beautiful, precious, human need. Maybe some reassurance, some warmth, some help. And they ask you to look for ways to nurture those needs.

That’s where mindfulness meets Nonviolent Communication. I can’t think of a better combination.

Yes, I smile. I vow to look at beings with eyes of compassion. I start with myself.

—–

Contact me at 512-589-0482 if you want to see how I can help you stand your feelings.

Author: Elly van Laar

I am a coach. I specialize in helping professionals schedule time for relationships and self-care. I have a Master's degree in Political Science, Leiden University, the Netherlands. I love meditation, walking, gardening, biking, and hanging out with family and friends.

2 thoughts on “Stand your feelings: the only way out is through

  1. I so connected with this post. I am appreciating the synchronicity of receiving it TODAY! Had a realization yesterday of why I have been struggling with moving to the “next” right step in my life. I am in mourning….deep mourning for what has “died”. I feel that in everyone part of my body and it is so close to the surface. I was not aware that the mourning and grief for what has been, wants me to know the depth of the care it has for me and for others. I have to go through this and give myself the “metta” as your post suggestes. Those are my words. There is no rush. I also thought of what you have taught in the past. I am sad and I am not suffering.

    Like

    • Dear friend, dear Pandora,

      Thank you so much for sharing how you grieve and mourn for your loss, for what has died. I read you are touched by the level of care, for yourself and others, in this grief. You realize that you want to take time to be with this pain and offer yourself some loving-kindness. You remember the difference between being sad and suffering, and you hope you can carry that understanding into accepting your pain.

      I love you. Thank you so much for reading my post, and for responding. I feel honored with your appreciation and connection.

      May we be happy, healthy and safe.

      Like

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