Becoming broken open by moments of suffering.
The New York Times columnist David Brooks said in a speech in October 2019 that people are hungry for authentic human connection. The suicide, loneliness, fear, depression, and isolation levels in America are rising. The American culture of today tells lies that you can make yourself happy, that life is an individual journey and when you are successful financially, you are happy, you earn your way to being loved. Love is conditional on your financial success. Brooks says “you’re not a soul to be saved, you’re a set of skills to be maximized... This to me is the core problem that our democratic character is faced with. Many of our society’s great problems flow from people feeling not seen and known, There is a core democratic trait that we all have to get better at, and that is the trait of seeing each other deeply and being deeply seen. It’s a question of ... understanding each other.” Self compassion dispels these lies. It’s a way to helping us to be deeply seen and to be deeply heard. Once we begin to listen to ourselves in a compassionate way, we can listen to others. But it has to start with yourself. It can be tricky though because we have grown up with these American ideals. but I think that compassion is an easy thing for us to understand. We feel compassion for the child that is lost in a store and can’t find his mom. We feel compassion for the homeless person in the winter time during the freezing temperatures. We feel compassion for the animal who has fallen through the ice in a frozen lake and can’t get out. but what about yourself? What about your suffering? Can you feel compassion for yourself? Self compassion is not self-pity. You are not pitying the child, homeless person or animal you are only wishing for them to not suffer. Can you wish yourself to be free from suffering? The biggest part of this is allowing yourself to be heard and to be seen by yourself. David Brooks at the end of the speech said, “We all have moments of suffering, but we can either be broken by those moments or we can be broken open by them.” when we are self compassionate we can see our suffering differently. We can use it to heal instead of hurt.
For those of you who live close to Salt Lake City, we will be having a class specifically tailored for mom's to learn self compassion. it will be a great chance to be seen and heard by others and to see and hear others and an opportunity to listen to and write your own self compassion story. It will be held March 9th, 16th and 23rd at 7:00 PM. All of the info is on our website. We would love to see you there.