We have a very different experience of life when we simply feel our feelings as opposed to when we worry about our feelings. The direct experience of sadness, for example, can be a doorway to compassion, whereas worrying about sadness leads to depression.
Inspired by my visit to the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary: You are precious, unique in all the world, and valued beyond measure. And so is everyone around you. Don’t just nod your head. Think about it. Take it in.
Reflection and rumination are very different styles of thinking. Rumination is locked in the past, a chewing over and reliving of old feelings, thoughts, and experiences. Reflection may begin with an existing concern–even a deep grief–but it faces outward rather than inward. Reflection is infused with wondering, with curiosity, and with the hope of a new thought. What we need now is new thought, and if we hold our concerns with open minds and hearts, it will come.
In every moment each human being is doing his or her level best. That’s the humbling, magnificent, encouraging, discouraging truth. And the more deeply we see this, the more we access compassion for ourselves and others. The more compassion we experience, the nicer our best tends to be.
In which I recount my great cat box insight: in any given moment you either want to clean the cat box or you don’t. Pretending that you are not doing what you choose to do just makes things unnecessarily complicated.
Two steps forward, one step back may be a problematic strategy for running a marathon. But what if life is not a race, but a dance? And what if YOU get to choose which one it will be?