Naked Lovingkindess a la @KCLAnderson7:49:00 AM
My apologies for the interruption of the past two entries --my personal life reared its ugly head and I needed (1) an outlet to vent and (2)...
My apologies for the interruption of the past two entries--my personal life reared its ugly head and I needed (1) an outlet to vent and (2) to be in a safe place/among friends. It's really hard for me when someone calls me (or something that I have done) mean. In this instance it was an act of self-preservation that was unfairly judged as mean after months of suffering. I know I'm no saint, but I also know when I'm being treated unfairly. I'm a good and kind person (far from the heinous bitch I used to be) that didn't deserve to be mistreated.
I turned to my favorite little book, "The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness, and Peace,"by Jack Kornfield for some direction, and found it in this quote:
Forgiveness does not forget, nor does it condone the past. Forgiveness sees wisely. It willingly acknowledges what is unjust, harmful, and wrong. It bravely recognizes the sufferings of the past, and understands the conditions that brought them about. There is a strength to forgiveness. When we can forgive we can also say, "Never again will I allow these things to happen." We may resolve to never again permit such harm come to ourselves or another.So in the end I had to have compassion and forgiveness not only for the person that hurt me, but for myself for allowing my walls to come down and to let someone else close enough to do the damage. But a line was crossed and I could no longer let such harm come to myself. Like I alluded to in the previous post, I was bending too much to accommodate him, and in doing so I lost my own structural integrity. He hurt me in two ways -- directly by his (in)actions and misrepresentations, and indirectly by pulling me so off-center and away from myself that my natural instincts weren't alerted to the harm being done until it was too late.
Am I mad at him? Yes and no. But any anger is really overshadowed by a sense of compassion (bordering on unhealthy pity, as pity comes with judgment and I try not to be judgmental). How broken does a person have to be to hurt someone who is kind and gentle? How lacking in self-awareness must one be to realize that their (in)actions are causing actual pain to another person, especially when that other person is quite adept at putting words to it?
to look at yourself (and find yourself) naked in the mirror?
Remember I asked the "Intuitive Eating/Ditch the Diet" panel how they find their way back to themselves after emotional eating/a binge?
Karen Anderson (@KCLAanderson)'s email to me explaining her mirror process was the loving advice I needed to hear after feeling like I had lost myself for the benefit of another person. With her blessing (I hope), I'm going to share her process with you here:
KCLAnderson’s Self Love Exercise™:
You can do this full clothed, naked, or somewhere in between.This takes practice (intention and repetition) as well as patience (knowing you won't be perfect every time). To be able to look at yourself and see what is whole and beautiful (and not what is broken or imperfect) takes time, an abundance of love, and as much forgiveness as you can muster. In my case, it has taken time to see past the (emotional/mental, and physical) scars, but beyond that there is a person and a body that is strong and has survived worse storms than a boy.
The goal is to be able to do it naked.
Stand with your back to the mirror. Take some deep belly breaths. Think about something that makes you feel all googly inside. A baby? A kitten or puppy? Your significant other? Someone else’s SO? You know the feeling. That melty-heart feeling that actually becomes physical. Get that feeling going. It should feel like your chest is expanding with warmth and goodness . . . an actual physical feeling.
Then turn around with your eyes closed. Soften your eyes. Take a few deep belly breaths. Check your posture? Are you tense? Are your shoulders up around your ears? Unlock yourself. Relax. Take some more deep breaths. Open your eyes and keep them soft. Look at yourself in the mirror with soft eyes and turn that warm googly, melty heart feeling in to yourself. [Stay with that feeling, and in that loving gaze, as long as you can.]