Often when I’m struggling with something in my life I can make up a story that I’m all alone in my struggles, that nobody else will understand. And yet when I find the courage to be vulnerable, to share my experience, I often get met with a ‘Oh, you too!’
I recently learnt that the 2nd element of self-compassion is the recognition that we all share in the common human experience. As Kristen Neff explains, compassion literally means ‘to suffer with’. We are simply humans amongst humans.
I experienced this recently. I was worried about money and in an enormous amount of financial fear and I was feeling quite ashamed of some choices I had made that really did not support me in my financial self-care. Especially when I feel shame I have a tendency to not share what is going on for me with people and instead give myself a very hard time and compare myself (not favourably!) with others. But this time I did something different. I practiced self-compassion and I shared what was going on for me with a couple of my girlfriends and what I received back from them was ‘oh, you too, I thought it was just me’. And in that vulnerability, in that recognition of the common human experience, I really got, on a deep level that we are not alone. That no matter how different we may look on the outside, we so often share the same fears and longings on the inside.
It’s often my thinking that has me feeling all alone. And I have found few things more heart opening, more joyful, more humbling, than connecting with another human being in our mutual struggles. And we see it all the time on the Conscious Woman posts as you share your own experiences and we get to say to each other ‘Me too’. What a relief to know we are not alone in and amongst our perfect imperfections and struggles.
Thank you for being part of this community, this tribe of woman, sharing our stories, experience & support for living an authentic and meaningful life.
With great warmth