Updated: Apr 28
I came across the work of Tara Brach a number of years ago and immediately I was captivated. Not only does she have a wonderful way of expressing herself and talking about mindfulness, she's funny too! I decided then and there to read all I could of her teachings.
Until I came to one sentence
"we humans are at war with ourselves"
I couldn't quite understand it as it seemed like quite a dramatic notion. I wasn't, in my mind, "at war with myself", though I could see people who were are war with each other, but why would I be at war with myself? It made no sense.
Until it did.
I mean it's not language that we use every day but when you think of it, or rather when I thought of it, I realised that the internal voice that ran the show in my head was indeed very negative and was constantly berating me for not being good enough, happy enough, serene enough, intelligent enough etc etc. Every time something went wrong in my life, I beat myself up for hours, even weeks on end. What was this but war? I mean I wouldn't treat anyone the way I was treating myself so maybe it was.
When I stood back and really listened to what I'd say to myself, well that was the defining moment and I realised that indeed it was.
Then I read another teaching from Sandy Newbigging:
"The longest relationship that you will ever have is with yourself."
I mean, seriously, primary schools need to be teaching this stuff!
It's so obvious when it's pointed out but (especially us Irish) well we like to put ourselves down. However, Sandy's teaching wasn't about an ego kind of relationship, from what I understand it's the realisation that: hey, I am going to spend my whole life with me so like all relationships, isn't it worth spending some time with me, getting to know myself and most of all, getting to accept myself?
From that point on I made it a mission and while it's an ongoing process and I've a long way to go, it's a much easier way to live with myself.
For me the single biggest game changer in this process was Mindfulness and meditation, Learning about self compassion was a real eye opener and one that continues to teach and inspire me. I touch on these subjects on the Monday morning mindfulness meditations every week, if you'd like to know more, feel free to sign up via the link below,
Until next time,
Mindfully dealing with COVID -19: a 3 week online mindfulness programme to support you