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Time to be Gentle
Plowing through is not always the right thing to do
It seems that my natural state is one of fear and judgement. As I learn more about mindfulness in a professional development program that I am fortunate to participate in, I can see how my default attitude is one of negativity and impoverishment, and that it’s ultimately rooted in feeling like I don’t deserve happiness.
But in today’s course, I began to question if it has to be that way. Do I have to understand life to be mostly pain, hardship, and loss, or have I simply aligned with those qualities because my trauma feels most comfortable in that state of destitution. I can see now how hard it is to release from the grips of impoverished thinking, because I’ve convinced myself that if I let my guard down, I’ll lose everything I have. I’ve truly been working so hard, and trying to control my every step, because at some point I was led to believe that I’m disposable.
Since the fall I’ve been on a deep healing journey to understand the nagging pain in my heart that I can’t seem to heal from despite all my efforts, and I feel it’s culminating to this point of release through the practice of mindfulness. I feel like the space and compassion that mindfulness allows is my purpose. I feel inspired to implement this practice into my entire life, including work. Coming together with like-minded people who are on their own healing journey is a beautiful experience, and I am so relieved that I have found my path.
When my dad passed away 2 years ago at the end of my postgraduate certificate, a peer told me that I was an example of mindfulness. Ultimately, I think I was just in a state of shock and was so determined to get into the masters program that was connected to my coaching program, that I was still laser sharp. Nevertheless this experience made me believe that mindfulness is my birthright, and being able to participate in this professional development program during working hours has further made me believe that it can truly be my vocation.
I’m beginning to wonder what a life of full-time calmness, serenity, self-love, and full integration could look like. Up until now, I mostly focused on missing the mark. People often say to me that I’m too hard on myself. For years I took that feedback with spite. I felt perpetually dejected by my shortcomings and people saying I was hard on myself felt like an invitation to just keep failing.
Now that I can see how well I’m doing, I can recognize that I am in fact hard on myself. Yet I still come from a place of belittlement and frustration. I’m ready to let that perfectionism go. I need to shift my values and understanding, because there is no such thing as perfect, but there is such thing as blameless, and I would rather live an upright life that demonstrates kindness and compassion than a false sense of perfection anyway.
Perhaps learning more about mindfulness will help alleviate a lot of the challenges that I self-impose upon myself. I am amazed how taking time for mindfulness seems like a luxury that only the elite can afford to engage in, when really, it is an inner resource naturally available to all to be drawn upon at any moment.
Because I go through life in a victimized, poverty mind state, I want to tell myself that I can’t afford to practice mindfulness. I am officially challenging this false voice in my head that wants me to just zone out and numb out. I am ready to take my recovery to the next level, and my life to a new plane of peace.