"It takes courage to live in this world and it takes courage to love in this world."
A quote from Dan Millman
I agree. It takes a warrior spirit to keep choosing to open our hearts and dive into our vulnerability in order to be an expression of compassion for change.
My inner dialogue might go something like this:
I feel a surge of disappointment rising. Like a dark cloud passing in front of the sun, I am plunged into the darkness. I know this place. I don't like this place. Oh no! not again. I feel my rib-cage tightening and my heart closing as my thoughts get heavy and the whole world - out there - seems dull and disappointing through these darkened lenses. I feel bad so my mind thinks I am bad. I feel worthless and unloveable, so I judge and push everyone away. I resist. I fight. But I'm firmly stuck here in the mud and it feels ugly.
"My love. Be gentle with yourself," says my inner Warrior of Compassion. "How human of you to feel this. There's nothing wrong with you or bad about you. You can allow yourself to feel this. You are safe. I am here and I will not let you go.
"What if you try to soften your grip a little and release the fight for a moment? I am here. Allow yourself to fall to the earth, and collapse in this mud. I will meet you there, in love.
"We will take a mud bath together and cover ourselves in mud from head to toe. We will complain until it ignites our anger. We will let rage burn through our resistance until it opens our hearts to grief. We will cry in despair until our hearts finally melt through the old 'poor me', and the 'I can't do this' dialogues, to reveal the soft power of compassion.
"The compassion that wraps itself entirely around those small parts inside you that feel scared, tired, unworthy and lost, and that don't understand the harshness of this world. And together, we will remember the very essence of our existence - Love.
"I will be there to see you and acknowledge you as you choose to rise again, heart wide open, more vulnerably alive than ever before, ready to be a force of compassion in this world.
"Be not afraid of your vulnerability, my love. It is right here that I meet you. It is right here that you find your power.
"And we will laugh again, ecstatic like children playing in the mud."
EXERCISE: A Warrior of Compassion in your Life
Each week during my Warrior of Compassion training programme, the women are offered readings, practices and reflections. Here is an excerpt of Week 1 exercise. I hope you enjoy it.
- Get comfortable and cosy and do whatever you need to do to allow your body and mind access a relaxed and expansive space.
- Read each of the following questions, and after reading each question sit for a moment to feel what arises in you. Let your imagination flow and write in your journal for as long as the inspiration flows. Then move to the next question:
What qualities or images do you associate with the idea of a “warrior of compassion”? It might help you to think about people / characters / archetypes who represent these qualities – write them down too.
How does such a “warrior of compassion” meet life and life’s challenges? What attitude or approach does she/he take? Reflect on some specific aspects of life such as relationships, health, spirituality, body image, making decisions, following dreams etc.
If you had a “warrior of compassion” in your life, what would you ask her/him to do to support you or accompany you in doing? Be as specific as possible as you reflect on your current life, as well as the life you dream of.
May you feel the gentle strength of your inner warrior supporting you today.
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