by Elly van Laar | Oct 1, 2014 | Compassionate Communication, Nonviolent Communication, Personal Growth, Self-compassion
“Sorry seems to be the hardest word.” At least, that’s what Elton John sings.
“Sorry” seems to convey that there is something wrong with us, that we did something bad, and that -as a result of our action- we are unworthy of love, acceptance, and belonging. It is the beggar’s word in a one-up relationship, where I know what is good and what is bad, and decide whether you are good enough to be in the inside circle.
Sometimes this burden of self-incrimination turns into the opposite, and our “sorry!” becomes oblique, as we run out the door, leaving our spouse frustrated with our unwashed dishes and our stuff at the counter, with no intention to clean up after ourselves the next time we’re in a hurry.
It does not have to be this way.
Sorry can also reflect a profound self-reflective journey of looking inward and acknowledging the times we did not show up the way we wanted.
The ten days between Rosh Hashanna and Yom Kippur invite us to this journey of self-connection and reflection on our transgressions against G*d, our fellow living beings, and ourselves.
I understand transgressions not in the legal way, but as a longing to awaken to our true nature of love, compassion, and mindfulness, and to our innate desire to contribute to the well-being of others, including ourselves.
Atonement is the process of restoring our at-one-ment, our interbeing.
Nonviolent Communication calls it the cycle of Mourning, Celebrating, and Learning. We ask ourselves which universal, human, precious needs were unmet with the behavior we now regret. And we ask ourselves which precious, human, universal needs we did meet -or were trying to meet- with the behavior we now regret. And in that process of looking deeply, understanding, and accepting our choices, we open up to learning different ways to nurture all those needs: the ones we met and the ones we didn’t meet. It is the process of connecting to our values and that what is most important to us: life and love.
When we approach the word “sorry” as an indication of our learning, as a sign that we realize our unskillfulness in pursuing our needs, without giving up our dignity and worthiness of love, acceptance, and belonging, it is the easiest word possible. It expresses that we are human beings who search, sometimes stumble, through life, looking for ways to honor our needs, those of others, and those of G*d. It indicates that we are not stuck in the past, wallowing in our regret, but that we open up to life and making more wholesome choices in the future.
You want help to mourn, celebrate, and learn from actions you now regret? Contact me 512-589-0482 to schedule a complimentary discovery session.
by Elly van Laar | Apr 29, 2014 | Acceptance, Compassion, Mindfulness, Personal Growth
The kids want someone else to babysit them tonight. Not forever, just this once. “She’s more fun, because she plays games with us.” Ouch. Well, honestly: ouch, ouch, ouch. I’ve been with them for so long. I try so hard to support everyone’s needs. I care about them. And I want acceptance and appreciation for all of that.
It hurts. It just hurts.
I think of my ex-husband. I told him five years ago that I wanted to leave him for someone else. We had been together for 14 years. He had supported me through some of the most difficult periods of my life. He was unconditional in his acceptance, always supportive, and deeply loving. I can only imagine how devastated he might have felt when I told him, “I’m leaving. I found someone more fun to be with.”
And yet, he has never stopped accepting me, supporting me and my choices, and, I think, loving me. I experience him as the epitome of unconditional, selfless love.
Image courtesy to windpacer04.deviantart.com
And now, as I feel this hurt, I feel some of that too. I do feel the pain of what I perceive as rejection, ànd I also feel a love that is way bigger than me. It is a love that is personal and non-personal at the same time. It is love for for the kids, love for myself. It is a quality of love with no object, no subject. It has nothing to do with what’s done, what’s said. It’s not even about who is. It is love for love’s sake. It is not my love, it is a love that is universal and timeless. It flows through me, it touches me, the only ‘I’ in this love is that I’m the vessel for it.
I feel relieved. Apparently I can feel unconditional love, at the same time that I feel pain, loneliness, sadness.
This must be my true nature. Some call it basic goodness. Some call it the Christ-essence. I call it Love.
You want help to touch your own true nature? Contact me 512-589-0482 to schedule a complimentary, discovery session to see if and how I can help.
by Elly van Laar | Jan 7, 2014 | Compassionate Communication, Mindfulness, Personal Growth
Playing hide and seek
My niece and I used to play hide and seek. She would hide behind the curtain, and I would open a drawer and ask out loud “Is Floor here?”, then exclaim “No, she isn’t!”. Then open another drawer and ask the same question, and of course, give the same answer. Till I had opened all drawers and cabinet doors, and finally looked behind the curtains: “Oh, there she is!”. With surprise and delight, of course.
Floor loved it. As soon as she was found, she would tell me to hide behind the curtain, and open all drawers and cabinet doors. “Is Elly here? No, she isn’t!” Till she found me, with as much surprise and delight as I had done, of course. I loved it too.
Hiding behind a curtain of fear
As adults we often play this game too. Usually with less delight.
We hide behind a curtain of fear, self-doubt, resentment, negativity and despair. Then we complain that God isn’t here. (or our husband, friend, mom, sibling, colleague for that matter), because we can’t see Him. And whén the Spirit finds us, we pull the curtain closer, because we are too scared to be seen for whom we really are. We are sure that our nakedness will reveal our basic flaws. We cannot believe that our vulnerability shows only beauty and basic goodness.
Being our best self
Inspiration means to be filled with Spirit. To be filled with a sense of purpose, passion and presence. It means nothing more than letting God do Her part, let Her do what she does best: carry our worries, concerns, insecurity and anger. So that we can do our part: bringing our soul to life. We relax into the sense of support our breath gives us, and feel into what we truly want. We breath in, and listen to our heart. We hear her tell us what brings us alive. Even if this is a so-called “have to”, we can still feel with how much joy and gratitude we can do our task. Because we celebrate that we are alive, that we have this opportunity to contribute, that we have legs that carry us, and hands that touch. Because we can be the best street-sweeper to be found.
You can be your best self in any situation. Thàt’s being inspired.
Still saying God doesn’t exist? Drop your curtain, get into the arena of life, and show up as your vulnerable, authentic, beautiful self.
And feel inspiration take you to the next level.
I wish you a happy new year!
by Elly van Laar | Dec 19, 2013 | Acceptance, Mindfulness, Personal Growth, Self-compassion
My dear child,
Can’t you see how beautiful you are?
Can’t you see you’re precious beyond words?
See how your smile lights up the room,
how your gentle presence fills our hearts with love.
Nothing you think, say or do
can take away from this eternal beauty within.
We love you without measure,
we respect, nurture, and cherish you.
Fill your heart with spaciousness,
and walk in the light of love,
knowing you are a true daughter of God,
carefully crafted in His image.
Compassion rules the world,
Don’t let your failures fool you,
they reflect how hard you are trying
and how deep your commitment is.
Open your heart to the life within you,
celebrate your efforts and your failures:
they are the proud sign of your true self.
I wrote this poem after a deeply spiritual session with a dear client. I always make notes after each session, and send them to my clients for feedback whether they are correct and complete. This session was beyond words and logical reconstruction. I wrote a poem instead and post it here in honor of my friend, my client.
If you want my help to deepen your self-compassion, healing and integration, contact me for a complimentary, discovery session.
by Elly van Laar | Dec 6, 2013 | Compassionate Communication, Mindfulness, Nonviolent Communication, Personal Growth
Much on this blog is about me. About an ordinary woman with a big dream. A woman, who passionately wants to create a world where everybody belongs. Where everybody listens in a way that brings connection and harmony. A woman who dedicates her life to bringing joy, love and harmony. Do you?
Much of this blog is about me. About an ordinary woman who stumbles and falls on this path of compassion and mindfulness. And rises again. Like a phoenix from the flame. A woman who never gives up. Not on herself, not on you, not on us. Do you?
Much of this blog is about you. My friends on the path of compassion and mindfulness. Friends who want to leave this world a better place. Friends who are looking for support, encouragement, inspiration. Friends who are willing to give it their all. Friends who understand that changing the world starts with yourself. Friends who see and trust that we are basic goodness. Do you?
Most of this blog is about us. A community which holds on to each other, sees the positive intentions, and supports learning from mistakes. A community which hangs in there, is willing to sit still when the storm races over and dances when the sun comes out. A community which is willing to self-reflect, to make friends with our inner demons, and laugh about them, no big deal. A community which empathizes with our struggles, and rejoices at our successes. We’re enjoying the path of compassion and mindfulness, not striving for results. We love just making this one step towards more compassion, acceptance and inclusion in the world. Do you?