I’ve been in India studying Tibetan for much of the past year and although I’ve learned a lot about the language, I think I’ve learned more about myself.
Take this morning—it was a rough one. I was stressing out about Tibetan (again). I was being too hard on myself. I was comparing myself to other students who seem to be “getting it.”
Why not me? I thought. What’s wrong with me?
And so, reflexively, I started to tell myself stories of doom and gloom.
Where there is nothing but success and the cause for rejoicing, I saw impending failure. Where I should have been proud of myself for all my accomplishments and continued effort, I said “Yeah, but you can do better.”
But the stories weren’t true, not one word of them. They were just distortions of the truth, exaggerations of reality.
In small doses that kind of thinking is fine. It’s good to push yourself after all, to raise the bar in steady increments; you get better that way. That’s the way you attain your goals.
But this morning I was going to far; I was starting to hurt myself and that’s not right.
If I’ve learned anything these past few years it’s how to catch myself at the top of the downward spiral. I don’t have to tumble all the way down anymore. After a few bumps and bruises, I can pick myself up and head back up the hill.
So this morning, I turned my gaze inward and smiled at myself.
“Take it easy good buddy,” I said. “You’re going to learn this language. You’re going to read it. You’re going to translate it. You’re doing so great and I’m so proud of you. Just keep going.”
And then I breathed again and remembered what I forgot for only a moment:
“Hey dear friend, I love you.”
We’re all too hard on ourselves from time to time. What do you do to help yourself when you notice you’re putting yourself under too much pressure?
Ed: Bryonie Wise
Like elephant I’m not “Spiritual.” I just practice being a good person on Facebook.
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