The dharma for day is very simple. It is simply the invitation to make friends with ourselves wherever we happen to find ourselves. This idea of befriending ourselves comes from something I read in Pema Chodron’s book When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice For Difficult Times.
While I don’t recall the exact context in which the phrase appeared, I am confident that it came from one of her many discussions about her own meditation practice and how a teacher encouraged her to begin to soften and relax as the random wanderings of her mind began to appear. For instead of fighting them, or wishing that they were not there or were different than they were, the teacher told Chodron that when she was able to make friends with herself, the situation in which she found herself would also naturally become friendlier as well.
I offer this bit of advice as reminder that our time spent at home, whether in total isolation or in close proximity to others, can be one of transformation as well as regression. It can be a time in which both new and old habits, behaviors, thoughts, feelings, and beliefs come to the surface and show themselves.
In some ways, these new and old habits can intensify whatever we happen to be experiencing in any given situation. AND… if we can befriend them, and get to know them and why they are the way they are… they also have the potential to change and transform us. The key of course is that we must take a moment to remind ourselves to pause, take a deep breath, and work to befriend these habits, beliefs, thoughts, or ways of being as they are in this moment.
In doing so, something within us naturally begins to shift and morph. This transformation in turn naturally begins to impact the nature of our interactions with our loved ones, our colleagues, our peers, and our friends. We naturally show up in body, mind, and heart in a very different manner that is palpable to those with whom we interact.
- “How you love yourself is how you teach others to love you.” Rupi Kuar
- “A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself.” Jim Morrison
- “Let go of what you’re not and welcome and embrace what you are.” Hale Dawskin