Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free-
The way in which our environment conditions us is more prevalent, and dare I say – perverse, than we appreciate. This topic is wide-ranging and fairly dense with meaning and purpose. In order to present it to you openly, and with an honest heart? We need to look into the dark areas of our souls.
Seldom do we realize that the appearance of unnatural looking/tasting and pretty benign “things,” like the latest carbon fiber/electronic shifting bikes, chestnut praline latte’s, yoga mats and attire, tasteless candy, processed food, and trendy running attire owe their tantalizing properties to the way in which we are conditioned. The way in which the environment we live in shapes our behavior – no drool or droll needed, well maybe just a little?!? I caught myself recently lusting over a new Stevens Super Prestige Disc CX bike for no apparent reason other than it looks like good sex. Why is this so? I have some nice bikes already … The same holds true for other savory objects, such a new the colorful yoga mat for the aspiring yogi, an empty Starbucks cup for the coffee connoisseur , and new shoes for the runners lurking out there.
What scares my personally and as a society, is that, as sophisticated as this conditioning may seem, much of it is mediated unconsciously to us, beneath the nadir of our conscious and awareness.
Why do I desire a new pair of Brooks running shoes, when I can’t even run? This is really scary!
Compassion is the basis of morality-
Here is the flat-out, honest truth you have been searching for your entire life: You are going to screw up eventually.
Everyone, You, me – the dude picking his nose in the car next to you … Make many mistakes, daily.
A few times in the not so distant past, I have lamented painfully about self-compassion. Self-compassion (loosely defined) is the extent to which you treat yourself with kindness. Self-compassion differs from the likes self-esteem (its critical to note this), which is how good you feel about yourself. Self-compassion determines how well you spring back from adversity during the course of the day. Like getting down on ourselves when “things” go sideways … Treating ourselves and others with kindness, makes it infinitely easier to recover from harmful experience(s).
When our sole focus is intent on protecting our self-esteem, we can’t afford to look at ourselves objectively, honestly and with a pure heart. We fail to acknowledge the need for improvement, because it means acknowledging weaknesses, shortcomings and maybe – That we screwed up somewhere in our past …