On Mindful Self Compassion
There was a thing that happened about a year ago that really made a lasting impression on me. And when I say it made a lasting impression, I mean that it encouraged me to dig deeper, to do more of the dirty, yucky, mucky work of self realization... getting to the root of things, to have a greater understanding of my effed-up-edness so that I can break up with these unhealthy old patterns that hold me back, heal and become the radiant beam of light that I so aspire to be. So this thing...
I had just completed my first Ironman and I was on my friend's porch picking up my little monsters when my friend's mother said to me... "I am so proud of you!"
Wait. She's proud of me? Tracy's mom is proud of me?
I froze. Deer in the headlights frozen, accessorized with a smile. But only for a split millisecond, because that's what you do when you suffer from CEN — you kinda go numb, not knowing how to respond, all while masking the inadequacy away. The feelings are out there somewhere, but they're impossible to grab a hold of. Like bobbing for apples. I'm under water, everything's foggy, and I'm frantically bobbing for those slippery feelings that I just can't seem to get a hold of. That's what goes on inside.
So that's when I kept smiling and mumbled something about needing to go, while turning away quickly toward home to hide that I was literally crying.
Those words — I am proud of you — HOLY SHIT, y'all. They are powerful!
And it struck me that I don't think my parents have ever said that to me. I can't say that they never did, but I honestly can't recall a single moment where they have. I remember being on the phone with my parents and briefly mentioning the Ironman, thinking to myself, are they gonna say that they're proud of me? Or exclaim, "What an awesome accomplishment!" Or something — anything — to acknowledge this moment of badassery? And I remember being disappointed that they hadn't. It was a big deal for me — them not acknowledging my accomplishment. It sent me in a spiral.
But it also shed a light.
The silver lining in that downward spiral was understanding. It allowed me to better understand how I evolved into who I am right now. And I was able to be more compassionate toward myself. To empathize with myself. Self-empathy. It's a thing. I think maybe the millennials might call it mindful self compassion. It's real and can help heal (look who's a poet).