I just moved to Portland. I am jobless and feeling a lot of negative emotions. Fear. Self doubt. Panic. More self doubt.
Of course, as soon as these emotions come up, the first instinct is, Run!
Distract. Ignore. Fix. Any strategy seems better than experiencing the yucky feelings, experiencing the negative self talk.
You’re a loser. You’re not doing anything important with your life. You will never live up to your potential. You will never live up to your dreams. Your life will be meaningless.
Who wants to sit through that? No one!!
But here’s an interesting concept. What if we can show ourselves compassion in those moments when it matters most? What if we can use our awareness to sit right there with the pain, saying, I might not be able to fix it…but I can experience it with you.
I watched a cute cartoon that accompanied a Brené Brown excerpt on empathy. Sympathy says, that looks bad down there! Empathy says, I’m right here with you. You are not alone.
It’s so easy for me to empathize with other people. I do it all the time, without even wanting to sometimes. I can’t turn it off.
But what about empathizing with myself?? With the hurt part inside, the part that’s unsure, feels unsafe, scared, and panicky?
It’s going to take a little practice, but it’s surely not impossible.
I’ll start now.
I see that you’re so scared. I see that you think that you’re bad. That you feel unworthy and small right now. You don’t know what the future holds. I hear you questioning your value, questioning your decisions.
I just want to say, I am here with you. I am on your side. I am your friend, I will always be your friend, I will always love you, and I will never, ever, ever leave you.