I will be the first to admit that sometimes (OK, a lot of the time), I have great intentions, but don’t make it to the finish line. #100daysofhappiness is, well, a really long time to focus on one particular thing, and as someone who had had a lifetime of bouts of bleak depression, some days trying to find something happy to write about was both difficult and felt inauthentic somehow. So today I decided to shift the focus slightly and shorten the timeframe to something manageable yet proven as far as establishing habit.
I don’t remember when our how I was first introduced to mindful self compassion and metta practice, and I’ve only actively participated in it a few times, but those few times were profoundly memorable. It seems (in the West at least), that our collective religious heritage has had somewhat of a focus on sin as an inherent character flaw, something to distance ourselves from, a source of deep shame, which perhaps has translated to a broader cultural context of Not Good Enough, be it in the eyes of God, or the eyes of, well, anyone, and most of all ourselves. It feels odd, therefore, to extend the compassion we may find comes easily for others instead to ourselves as well.
Tonight I did a short 20 minute Affectionate Breathing meditation. I haven’t meditated in a while, and was all over the place, my mind wandering off within seconds, the eternal judge in my mind listing all the reasons why I couldn’t possibly deserve any amount of compassion. I stuck with it, but it was a challenge. It’s a start.