Sometimes during sessions I ask people to say out loud, Life Is Good! So they can see what it feels like, to gauge how true it feels. Often, people will say at first, eh, not so true. And then I begin to reflect back to them all that I know about them, the changes in their lives, how they’ve learned to love themselves, the progress they’ve made. I ask them to open their mind and heart and really hear and feel how someone else views them. I ask them to suspend their inner critic for just a few moments. I know that when we feel bad about ourselves or our lives, it often doesn’t matter what other people say to us. We can’t feel it or take it in. But willingness is the key. It makes space, it lets in light. It lays in a gossamer wing of good feeling that moves us toward love. And it’s gradual, baby steps. So what I’m trying to do is encourage people to move bit by bit toward feeling the good in their life, even while there still might be icky things in life.
On this earth plane, we live the duality of being human and Divine, all at the same time. Life is good at the same time difficult things are happening in our life. As a good friend of mine says, we can hold both. Life is not black or white. Life is hard and life is good…..all at the same time.
The Buddhist teacher Cheri Huber says it’s not the content that’s important, it’s the process. We might say the details are not important. What this means is we’re always learning about love, learning to love ourselves, learning that we are inherently joy. And the tough details of life provide contrast to help us choose for love, no matter what the details are. I have my laundry list, you have yours. What’s important is how we handle it, what choices we make, if we choose for love, even if we don’t know how in the moment. We just be willing, no matter what’s happening around us, no matter what the details are.
In an article by Jen Christensen, she writes about what the Dalai Lama suggests:
“You Do You…..First step, work on compassion and start by developing it for yourself. ‘Mainly,” he (the Dalai Lama) said, feeling happy is largely about ‘your own mental attitude.’ If you remain someone who is ‘honest, truthful,’ about how you feel, you can find happiness ‘no matter what (the) surrounding situation.’
His Holiness is talking, in part, about the Buddhist concept of self-compassion. He believes we’d all be happier people if we learned more about our own selves and embraced who we are, flaws and all.
Psychologists have shown when you do that, you automatically develop feelings of kindness and caring for that person. You develop concern for their general well-being. Self-compassion, then, is when you are kind, rather than critical, toward yourself, even when you mess up or when you are in some form of emotional pain.”
Self-compassion is a form of love. Especially now, open the floodgates of willingness, be especially kind to yourself and we will all get through the details life is presenting us….all in service of choosing for love, which moves us to joy. No matter what is happening. Life truly IS good.