This is post inspired by Deepak Chopra and Adam Plack’s Soul of Healing Affirmations, which I discovered in an iTunes search for meditation inspiration.
I will see a stranger today through the eyes of compassion. I will remind myself that this stranger has parents and people who love her, just like me. I will remind myself that this stranger has moments of joy, just like me. I will remind myself that this stranger has moments of anguish and suffering, just like me. I will remind myself, that this stranger will go through the cycles of illness and recovery, just like me. I will remind that this stranger will one day die, just like me. Through the eyes of compassion, I will know this stranger not as a stranger anymore, but as a living soul, just like me.
Anxiety and compassion are lovely partners in life, relentless in their necessity for each other. There is no outlasting a bout with anxiety, for it loves the fight. I keep waiting for a day to fall, like an autumn leaf out of this still-summer sky, when I will just feel better. Instead I feel the days pile up and my breath quickens at the thought that I may actually be feeling worse. Physical symptoms manifest with the mental ones and play a real nice offense and I’m giving up easy shots and letting the game get the better of me. Today needed my compassion-coach to call a time-out. I emailed a woman who wrote about migrating with her family to Berlin from New Zealand, feeling grateful to have read her story of struggle and perseverance, in a time when I feel so at odds with my own. Luck be a lady, she wrote me back, with advice and more encouragement. The world shifted beneath my feet in an instant, spinning out of control just a moment before, I could once again lift my gaze to the horizon.
Tonight we walked a path that we have not yet taken and found Landwehrkanal at sunset. When Justin and I imagined our lives in this place, we would look at Google maps and think about the evening walks we would take as a family again. It was a tradition that we had in Japan and it fell by the wayside in Portland. Now we are getting our city legs under ourselves and the kids handled the 30 minutes walk there and back with only moderate grumping, thanks in part to the swans and the magic of a city at dusk. Today I saw a side of Berlin that was hidden to me when I was trying to tough it out and I’m ready to get back in the game, knowing that I am surrounded by compassionate teammates.