A MEDITATION ON LONELINESS AND SELF-COMPASSION
After a 12-month experiment being vegetarian and loving it, I’ve recently decided to ditch dairy and eggs too and embrace a vegan lifestyle. After the first few inspired weeks of learning new recipes (thank you, Minimalist Baker) and tapping into the feeling that I’m doing a great thing for animals, the environment and my health, I found myself in a low. Doubt creeping in. Why am I doing this?
And I realise, it’s not because it takes a bit more effort in meal prep (I’m still cooking two versions of meals for my family), or that I’m giving up milk chocolate and ice cream (Peter’s Original, it’s a sad farewell), but it mainly boils down to the fact that I’m doing this thing alone. Despite being surrounded by those who love me most, I wasn’t prepared to experience loneliness.
This meditation came up as a way of countering that loneliness – an act of self-compassion we can all use a bit more of – a practice in balancing giving with receiving.
Listen or read, whatever you please. xx
Sometimes we give so much of ourselves – whether it’s a for a cause, our relationships or our work – that we forget also to take care of ourselves. We forget that we are as deserving of our compassion and love as the others who we so easily shower it upon.
And whilst it’s truly wonderful to adopt an others-focused mentality – it takes us away from our problems and makes us realise that there’s always someone much worse off than we are – if we’re only giving, we’re out there on our own. It’s a one-way street. And that’s when loneliness can set in.
When we’re giving unconditionally, we’re not expecting anything in return, but that doesn’t mean we can’t receive loving energy back. We can restore balance by receiving the gifts that others are offering – their generosity, their patience, their friendship, their love.
We can do this out in the world with those we know; those we love, or we can do this metaphorically, knowing there are other likeminded givers out there sending love and compassion for others to receive.
If we can tap into the connectedness of giving and receiving, we create a two-way street, and those feelings of loneliness can pass on by.
As you sit in stillness, open yourself up to receive. Your heart. Your mind. Sitting with a gentle smile knowing that to receive the gifts of others is an act of giving in itself. Being open to receive with gratitude and thanks.
During your meditation repeat the phrase receiving and apply it to what you most need right now.
See what it’s like to practice compassionate receiving, to fill up your tank with another’s love.