On Compassion.

31 July 2017

I woke up unusually slowly this morning – my body felt stiff, my mind foggy.  I squinted into the early morning sunlight (I really must get some curtains…), looking around my seemingly huge bedroom (anything is bigger than the closet-sized space I had on the ship) that more closely resembles a thrift store drop-off location than a place of rest and calm and peace.  Plastic bins of clothes, bags and bits strewn around, a gigantic pile of cardboard boxes and packing material piled up in one corner against blank beige walls. 

And I thought why is it still such a disaster? Get it together, Kristin!

Barely conscious and having moved in 36 hours ago, 16 of which were spent sleeping, and I’m already berating myself for not having my bedroom oasis/new life in Boston neatly organized and put together.

Somehow compassion seems to come incredibly naturally when directed at others, and is nonexistent towards myself. What is that about?  There's something in there about privilege and probably a little guilt thrown in for good measure; like if there are people starving or desperate for healthcare I deserve to be hard on myself for the privilege of a job and a place to live and food, blah blah blah. But even if it was a friend in this same situation, regardless of the state of the world, I wouldn't say that to them.  I wouldn't even think it. 

So as I cleared the cobwebs and stretched out the lingering kinks from cross-country driving and packing and unloading, I asked myself overly critical self what I would say to a friend in this situation.

It’s always chaos in the beginning – I think it’s incredible that you have been there not even two days and already have a bed set up and clothes hung! AND you managed to feed and water yourself?  AND find your way around to the grocery store and the other big-box chain store AND thrift store in a city you’ve never been to?  You’re amazing! It will come together, give it a few days. Give yourself some grace.

So today I will take one step at a time and show my own self a little compassion.  I’m going to run along the famed Charles River and then try to find some furniture to get my clothes and stuff off the floor and out of bins.  It’s a beautiful summer day which I think will be better spent enjoying the journey, rather than being upset with myself for not being super human and waving the wand and getting it all finished already.  It’s a new experience, all of this, and I’m grateful for the journey.

Until next time….

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