Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. – Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection
To know our own darkness means that we must accept the emotions of fear, anger, shame and sadness to observe them and feel them in our bodies without repression. This is our path back to joy, and is our path towards compassion for all others.
When we practice generating compassion, we can expect to experience the fear of our pain. Compassion practice is daring. It involves learning to relax and allow ourselves to move gently toward what scares us. – Pema Chödrön, American Buddhist nun, The Places That Scare You
I was just thinking of how we as individuals see people so very differently. Could it be that when we don’t like another individual, what we are really seeing is a part of ourselves that we have not yet accepted? If this is true, what an excellent gauge of where we’re at in our quest of self-compassion. And what an excellent reminder of what dark parts of ourselves need self-awareness and acceptance, making that area just a little bit brighter in the process.