Habits and Compassion

breaking habit

“The fear habit, the anger habit, the self-pity habit—all are strengthened and empowered when we continue to buy into them. The most compassionate thing we can do is to interrupt these habits.

  • Acknowledging that we are all churned up is the first and most difficult step in any practice. Without compassionate recognition that we are stuck, it’s impossible to liberate ourselves from confusion.
  • ‘Doing something different’ is the next step that interrupts our ancient habit of indulging in our emotions. We do anything to cut the strong tendency to spin out… Anything that’s non-habitual will do—even sing and dance or run around the block. We do anything that doesn’t reinforce our crippling habits.
  • The third most difficult practice is to then remember that this is not something we do just once or twice. Interrupting our destructive habits and awakening our heart is the work of a lifetime.”

~ Pema Chodron

… Turning off Facebook and the TV is an act of compassion


* Understanding our Pain

My pain is self chosen - by michele cat

My pain is self chosen – by michele cat

We all experience emotional pain such as disappointment, anger and frustration ….. Much of it comes from the struggle when we want things to be different from the way they are.

If only they wouldn’t do that…

If only this never happened…

If only they would leave me alone…

If only … then I could be happy…

I wish I had a spouse like yours, a house like yours, a job like yours … then things would be better…

We learn how to deal with pain when we are very young, and from those around us as we grow up. As adults we continue to deal with it in the same way, until we realize there may be a different way of dealing with it that can lead to real healing and feeling better.

It isn’t good or bad, its all part of the highs and lows of life.

Suffering comes when we add evaluations and judgments to our thinking. We create stories about a situation. Not only does this cause us mental struggle, but it can also show up in our bodies as tension and sometimes physical pain.

This is a powerful excerpt from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran.

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.

Just as the stone of the fruit must break, so that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.

And if you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy.

If you accept the seasons of your heart, as you have always accepted the four seasons, you would watch with serenity the winters of your grief.

Much of your pain is self-chosen.

It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.

Therefore, trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility.

For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen.