Nourish relationships and self-care

Empathy works. It always does.

Self-compassion when we are suffering

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Listening to the bell, I feel my afflictions

begin to dissolve.

My mind is calm, my body relaxed.

A smile is born on my lips.

Following the bell’s sound,

my breathing guides me back

to the safe island of mindfulness.

In the garden of my heart,

the flower of peace blooms beautifully.

Namo Shakyamunaye Buddhaya

Thich Nhat Hanh, The Great Bell Chant, Youtube

Image courtesy to FlickrI sit on my meditation cushion. I breathe in and feel my somberness, my listlessness, my lack of purpose and meaning. Who cares whether I live or die? I’m not sure I do. Do I even like my life? I don’t know. Do I even like myself? I don’t think so.

A wave of shock rushes through me.

I would never talk to my clients, my friends like that. I would never judge them as losers, failures, nobodies, when they experience this much despair, this much existential fear and sadness.

I would sit with them, listen carefully, opening up to their pain. I would embrace their suffering with compassion, letting them know that I am here for them. My heart would soften as I listen to their despair, their struggles.

I feel tender as I see myself sit on my cushion. A woman with such a sincere intention to contribute, to relief suffering, to bring joy, love and harmony. A woman who’s just trying, really trying and sometimes feels overwhelmed by her inner demons. Her sadness and despair, her regrets and sorrows.

This woman doesn’t need disapproval and rejection. This woman needs a tender, loving embrace. Someone who tells her how special she is and how much happier their life is with her in it. I feel a tenderness growing. Like a little daffodil, arising from the dark earth into the sunny meadow.

I can do that. I can hold myself with that gentle love, accepting all parts of me.

A smile is born on my face.

I don’t have to be happy and cheerful all the time. I can accept myself as I am, right now. And in that tender, safe embrace the flower of peace blooms in my heart.

—–

You want help to embrace all parts within yourself? To bring loving-kindness to yourself, because it is such a miracle that you’re here? Contact me 512-589-0482 for a complimentary, discovery session. I would be honored to help you bring self-acceptance and compassion to yourself.

Author: Elly van Laar

I am a coach. I specialize in helping compassionate professionals integrate self-care in their lives. 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.

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