Loving kindness towards ourselves – building resilience and compassion in the world
‘We are all just walking each other home’ Ram Dass
I could not say when I first came across this quote from Ram Dass but in a way it is foundational to who I am , shaping my whole way of being in the world. It has taught me to better live with difference – to know my perspective is always partial and that meaning and joy happens in being of service through listening and acts of kindness and also by allowing others to support me.
Funny enough though my journey into mindfulness probably began form a place of striving, wanting to be of service, accepting responsibility and leadership without nourishing myself. Like many I thought self compassion and kindness to myself might be some kind of softness – maybe even narcissism.
Some years and a little maturity later I know what Sharon Salzberg means when she talks about kindness being a potent skill that we can develop, and from there we become a more compassionate presence in the world – kindness being compassion in action. The start place for being this compassionate presence in the world is taking time and care to develop kindness towards ourselves.
Read the following poem slowly and maybe a few times. Give yourself some quiet time -just to be for five, ten, twenty minutes or whatever time is right for you. Just to breathe, be and let go as be, and allow each moment to unfold. It i sin these quiet moments that we nurture the potent power of kindness and compassion towards ourselves.
Clearing by Martha Postlewaite
Do not try to save
the whole world
or do anything grandiose.
in the dense forest
of your life
and wait there
until the song
that is your life
falls into your own cupped hands
and you recognize and greet it.
Only then will you know
how to give yourself
to this world
so worth of rescue.
May I be well, may I be happy , may I live in peace….