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From Discomfort to Compassion

When we move through life, there is no way around discomfort. It shows up in many places in our lives; family, friends, work, communities, and everything in between. One particular involvement remains, and that is us.

These past few weeks, I observed one particular discomfort a little closer because I noticed that a relationship kept getting the best of me without actually knowing why. So I went on a discovery journey with my mindfulness practice in tow.

Like everything in life, it starts harmless, with some exchanges. Suddenly, you are drawn into an internal thought-loop and reading into things that aren't even there. Does this sound familiar?

When I found myself in this situation, I knew this was not where I wanted to stay. Luckily, I was reading teachings around mindfulness and conversing with people who see internal challenges as a way to evolve. I am always curious to find ways to stay whole, including the troubles we experience in life.

Without going into the details of what was said or done, they are seldom the actual issue we are upset about. I dive into what is bothering me why did it affect me so much. I realized that when we put effort into something, there are always expectations, and when our efforts come with imperfections, other subconscious issues arise. Thoughts around belonging, worthiness, acknowledgments, righteousness, and honesty come up. Additionally, I can only speak for what is happening on my side; even if we have a conversation about it, we only hear what we can comprehend and what makes sense in our situation. It's our perceptions and constant judgments that hinder us.

As I am working with the teachings, the conversations, and curiosity, it becomes clear that judgment keeps surfacing. Judgment on how the other person responded, judgment on what should've, would've, could've done. Becoming aware of the reoccurring parts, I decided to still give my efforts. Once the action is completed, I leave it and let it go to the receiver; without expectations, without wanting it to be in a specific way, and without worrying if I will be imperfect again. This is my current awareness and understanding. The more we can practice this first part of letting go, the more inclusive we become.

Once we let go of how our efforts will be beneficial and meet the other person for what they are in this very moment without letting the past determine our future, we almost can't avoid being more compassionate with ourselves and the other people involved. By allowing our efforts to do their part, by trusting we did it at our best ability, and without holding on to the outcome, we free ourselves and open our hearts to the present moment. The conclusion of exploring this discomfort and releasing my thoughts from unmet outcomes allows me to invite compassion in and be at ease again.

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