I have been sorting through a massive bookshelf, deciding what to keep and what to let go. Anne Lamott’s Tender Mercies toppled off the shelf into my hands. Hence the prompt for today’s post.
We can benefit from being tender with ourselves, with the old mass of patterns and predilections that show up as uncomfortable feelings–sometimes miserably uncomfortable–triggered by who knows what just when we least expect it.
The tendency is to be harsh with ourselves, to think “Not that again!” For decades we have pushed down the feelings, or blamed others, or distracted ourselves with reading, alcohol, TV, sex, smoking–you name it. The result? Avoidance.
But that is asking for the simple grace of attention.
Feelings are the combination of thoughts and bodily sensations. If we attend to only the sensations, they soften. We may need to greet these sensations over and over; they are, after all, old friends. You may find the mind is desperate to bind thoughts–stories–to the sensations again. Stay with the sensations. With consistent tender mercy, they do dissolve.
© Skye Blaine, 2011