Going within ain’t for the faint of heart.

During my enforced solitude as I wait for my new house to be finished, I’ve been taking webinars and doing a whole lot of spiritual and inspirational reading. Slowly, too, so I can savor and reflect. And learn.

Here’s what it has all boiled down to:

We get a vote in how we respond to the world around us — in fact, more than a vote.

There’s no need to continue to respond unconsciously with those knee-jerk reactions that create anxiety for ourselves and others. We can choose our response, rather than react blindly.  But it takes going within.

We can and must be gentle and patient with ourselves.

It’s important to be gentle and compassionate with ourselves. Start there. The other day I was describing an exercise I did decades ago in therapy, in which I extended to little Carol, myself as a young girl, all the love and gentle nurturing she didn’t get. I felt such great compassion for that little girl. We can do the same for our adult selves.

Maybe we don’t realize how our own actions and thoughts create the pain and suffering we feel.  We can change those.

Extend that compassion to the world

Once we access compassion for ourselves, we can more easily extend it to the world around us. And we must. Our actions can create more suffering for others, too–or it can have a positive effect. Some kind of social action, however small, is our tariff for being human.

That’s really what life is about, isn’t it? Compassion, extended to ourselves and the world around us.

Speaking of compassion, you might want to look at our gentle, supportive gifts for healing & grief, right here.

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