In Celebration of Small Things:Self-Compassion

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“Be faithful to that which exists within yourself.”
André Gide
I could see the woman in her thirties walking down the street and then I heard her thoughts. Though she seemed to be outwardly successful, they weren’t happy ones and certainly not loving but brutally critical of herself and judgemental of others. That was me ; always trying to improve by being hard on myself because I believed I wasn’t good enough, wasn’t enough. Maybe that’s why I fell into rather than chose, Learning and Development as my career path-It afforded so many opportunities to learn and evolve. It’s quite a surprise to rediscover this past self as I walk down streets familiar to me in the northern suburbs of Sydney.

The house sitting lifestyle gives me the opportunity to not only visit new territory, people, pets and places but also revisit past towns where I lived, studied and worked. How interesting that this visit has turned into a surprising journey of reconnection with a past unhappy self. In this current life of constant travel I’m making up for lost time when I stayed stuck in the same suburb, Mosman, for nearly thirty years. Thirty years in the one area! Its hard to believe now when I reflect on the past month when I travelled from Brisbane to Sawtell in NSW to Jan Juc Victoria and now here, in a leafy and well to do suburb of the North Shore of Sydney.
Of course I’ve revisited the past before but the clarity of this visit is surprisingly acute-I can feel how I then felt and hear the circuitous thoughts of the past in my head. Its a wonderful opportunity presented by that master teacher, Life, to witness the extent of my personal evolution. But don’t get me wrong, I’m not perfect and will no doubt continue to evolve until my last breath. Unlike that woman of the past who was so harsh and unloving of herself, I can now feel great compassion and tenderness towards her. I’d like to hold her hand or put my arm around her shoulder and reassure her that being different and real is the most valuable quest in life. But then those years of self criticism and judgement of others weren’t wasted because I learnt so much and after all the suffering, I can now say that I have a great life in which I am free to be myself.
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”
Plato

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7 thoughts on “In Celebration of Small Things:Self-Compassion

  1. Inspiring post! It’s so true that we are often hardest on ourselves. It’s wonderful to hear how much better things are for you and how much better you feel about yourself. Personal growth can be challenging, yet freeing at the same time. I’m glad you found a lifestyle that suits you, and I hope you continue to enjoy life to the fullest. Life is too short to do otherwise.

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  2. Your post is so interesting. I’ve never been back to any place I lived before. I imagine several places would make me sad as, like you, I would see them through the eyes of the person I’d been then. And my hometown would probably make me teary eyed from nostalgia of my childhood friends and the dreams I had for my future. I’m glad you’re so pleased with your new life. You sound fulfilled and happy and that’s what counts!!

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