Another example of this is showing compassion to yourself, by being present to how you feel, who you are, what you need. So often we push ourselves aside with our to-do lists, and we cover up what's going on inside with lots of activity outside. There is no presence, only absence, which means there is no compassion, only harshness or indifference.
My Buddhist teacher used to ask me, "Why are you killing yourself?" I didn't understand that for a long time, though it felt true, even when I didn't know why. At the same time, when I would talk about being angry or irritated with someone, or even happy, she would ask me how that felt in my body. In frustration I finally snapped at her that my body and I hadn't been on speaking terms for years. I was so unable to be present with myself, physically and emotionally, that she saw it as a form of killing or smothering myself. It took me a long time to see that, and even longer to find compassion for myself.
Compassion is presence. Can I embody that in my writing? That question leads to other questions, and in the end, the one question that really matters is: am I willing to try? It requires both courage and openness, and I will admit I've never seen myself as particularly heroic. In one sense, we are all heroes as we move through our day, present to the world around us and within us. Thanks for your compassion and presence.
I'll be away for the holidays, so the next new blog will be Tuesday, January 2nd. Have a great holiday!
Carol (Doc) Dougherty
An avid reader, writer, and student, with a penchant for horse racing, Shakespeare, and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Wake Up and Write Writer's Retreat Workshop