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Underbelly: 10 Things - Coping

Wendy Kelly
Wendy Kelly
#127 in a series of wild and precious reminders to be kind when we’re not at our best

This week I contemplated coping — I had a strange week of being given opportunities to notice myself not at my best, notice what I really really wanted to do in those moments and notice that desire passing as I breathed a sigh of relief that I had not acted in that moment.
This series of observations helped me when I was face to face with a very dear (and much younger) loved one who was obviously experiencing anxiety and behaving in a way that was, well — annoying :)
In one fifteen minute vignette, I was scrolling through recent messages while in a great deal of pain. I noticed that in this moment, each message seemed multi-layered, with the sender apparently trying to tell me gently that they hated me, that I should likely no longer be their friend, that really, I ought to try a little harder at life :)
It suddenly occurred to me in that moment that as I was in quite severe pain, I was likely not at my best and to set aside these observations for later to see if they were accurate.
Honestly, what I decided to do at that later moment was laugh at myself :) I decided that I didn’t have time to decipher potential hidden messages. I decided that I honestly don’t have time for that level of bs in my life right now :) I decided to simply carry on doing my best in each moment and see where that takes me.
But the idea stuck all week that there are these moments when we are not at our best. It’s no excuse for poor behaviour but it’s an excellent opportunity to practice compassion — including self compassion.
“Compassion is an important concept, and even more important practice to integrate into one’s life. Like all ideas, layers underlie the meaning. One of the most fascinating is what Tibetan Buddhist teacher Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche termed ‘idiot compassion.’
His well known student, Buddhist nun and author Pema Chodron, explains:
It refers to something we all do a lot of and call it compassion. In some ways, it’s what’s called enabling. It’s the general tendency to give people what they want because you can’t bear to see them suffering.
Derek Beres, Idiot Compassion and Mindfulness
Big Think
"We all have a silent side to us; opportunities not taken, feelings never expressed. It’s important not to dwell on what could have been but also not to ignore those traits that make us who we are.” — Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries Make Peace with Your Unlived Lives HBR
3. Prompt
What was fascinating to me this week was the connection between offering myself compassion —
— and my ability to extend compassion to others.
Self-compassion is:
Sometimes, “coping” looks like “self pity” or “self indulgence” — and I would like to offer self compassion as a response to those behaviors, ultimately moving past them to a healthy place.
4. Quest
I’d like to suggest trying to nudge yourself to more compassion this week. More allowing mental space for yourself and other people you encounter. Acknowledging that whatever is difficult for you right now is just that — difficult.
Struggle is a part of this life we’re in together and alleviating suffering where possible while also growing through it is necessary.
5. Level up
Noticing ways we cope is (I think) a helpful way to remember that we’re human.
6. Article
Idiot Compassion and Mindfulness - Big Think
7. Video
Cultivating Compassion (Part 1B) - Tara Brach
Cultivating Compassion (Part 1B) - Tara Brach
8. Poem
For Mauna a Wākea by Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio - Poems |
9. Hero
Tara Brach - Meditation, Psychologist, Author, Teacher
10. Connect
Don’t miss out on the other issues by Wendy Kelly
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Wendy Kelly
Wendy Kelly @wendykkelly

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