Rejecting my own humanity has limited my capacity for compassion.

In an awareness exercise, I gave up on thought and sensed the sensation of my body, from skin on the top of my skull on down. At the end, I used all of my mental power to hold all of those sensations in my awareness at once. I had a complete model of my body in my mind. I felt compassion for myself as my human body with it totally held. I felt a great attunement with it- I knew I could be more flexible, more in control, with quicker reaction times. As if in this state, I would dance, fight, do martial arts, or gymnastics with greater skill and acuity than before. I felt confidence in knowing what was happening in every region of it. As soon as I lost my grip on the total mental model, the compassion and assuredness evaporated. Being able to tell the difference between the two states, I was aware of a sense that I could do more for others in that state of compassion with my own body- if I had to fight to protect, move something heavy, or dance, I would serve someone better while feeling compassion for myself as a human body.

Even while typing that sentence, I tried to delete the ‘myself’ part and rewrite it several times because I felt selfish. That criticism of selfishness is creating the conditions in which compassion and giving for others do not naturally arise from within myself. My awareness that creates possibilities out of the things I become aware of creates possibilities for how they could be useful to me- other people, things I find. Even if I find something useful to another person, that possibility is created because if I gave it to them, that person would be more useful to me. When I notice this, I experience less compassion for myself, and discredit myself more. I do a poorer job of taking care of myself, out of a state of little self-compassion.

Awareness brings compassion for my self. A my self who is felt compassion for is smiling, assured, and naturally ready to help others with no reservations. That is the me at the core- a body and mind that is already powerfully mobilized to help others.

I am a hero.


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