Developing Mindfulness of our Common Humanity
Last week we looked at first component to self compassion, being kind to ourselves. We looked at ways we can care for and comfort ourselves, especially in times of difficulties. Today we are going to look at the remaining 2 core components, common humanity and developing mindfulness.
If we can only recognise that we are the only person who is available to us at all times, and always, it is you and I. As humans we all experience difficult times and we all feel pain and humiliation. But let’s try to focus on what we have in common with others, rather than how different we are.
It can be much more healthier and positive to feel that we share a human experience. Rather than feeling isolated or disconnected from those around us. We don’t want to feel separate and different from others. We don’t want to wallow in self pity – why me! Or to believe that everyone else is happily carrying on with their lives whilst we are struggling.
Or perhaps we sometimes fall into the belief that things are supposed to go well and that if they don’t that there is something terribly wrong. But if truth were known, there are numerous things that could go wrong at any time. It’s likely that now and again we will experience problems and issues. Not always of our own doing, but bad things do happen to all of us at times. We feel we are alone in our suffering, but often that is not the case.
But we do need to feel that we belong, that we fit in. We do need to connect to others and not feel cut off. Loneliness arises when we feel disconnected from others, that we don’t belong. Feelings of connection with others give us more security and we aren’t as frightened by life’s difficulties.
It’s also an odd thing but other people’s successes can make us feel bad about ourselves. These divisions can often lead to prejudice, which is especially true in group identities. But if we can extend our sense of belonging to the whole human race, rather than limiting it to smaller boundaries, we will help to lessen any conflicts.
Recognising our common humanity as part of our self compassion exercise is a really powerful healing element. Failure can be frustrating, but gives us enormous scope for learning and wisdom. We can only learn from our mistakes, and we don’t always have control over all of our actions. External circumstances form our individual patterns and personalities.
We are the result of prior circumstances that have resulted in us being who we are at this moment in time. Are you ready to face up to your connectedness with others? Have you acknowledged you don’t have complete control of your thoughts, beliefs, and actions?
The key criteria of moving forward is to consciously be aware of being mindful. That is of being mindful of what is happening right here and now and facing up to reality. Seeing things as they really are and not as we want to see them.
We focus far too much on our ‘failures’ rather that the pain we feel. We tend to go into a problem-solving state of mind, rather than stopping and acknowledging that we are going through a difficult time.
Instead of ignoring our feelings, and our pain, we could instead turn towards it. Be with it. Feel it. Be in the here and now. There are numerous ways in which we can do this, but the most simplest and easiest is to use your breath to focus. STOP and consciously breathe. Take stock of what is happening, and focus on the moment.
I would love to hear how you get on. Read more of my Monday Motivation blogs HERE.