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Self-Compassion. Wednesday October 23, 2013

Today I started my morning by checking my phone for any messages. For over a year now I've been working on lessening the attachment to my phone, so I was quite surprised at my instant reflex upon waking.

What happened this morning can probably be connected to what happened yesterday.

I met someone who fits in quite well with the kind of person I want to have in my life and after an unexpected date he asked for my number. Unfortunately this story doesn't have a very happy ending. On the way home I had the sudden realisation that somehow (even though I've had the number for over a year now) I had accidentally given him the wrong number.

Am I confused by what happened? Yes.

Should I have taken his number too? Of course.

Self-sabotage? Very likely.

As sad as that tiny story is to me, what I did not expect was how, as a reaction to it, my brain threw away everything I've learned over the years (meditation, serenity, un-attachment) and spent all night throwing self-blame my way, something that hasn't happened in a very long time.

I guess in a way, I can add 'self-compassion' to the things I've learned because I have finally realised that mindfulness and things alike are not quick fixes, things can always fall through the cracks.

I'm going to leave this story with you and get back to my daily meditation practices, but as a final note: Don't be so hard on yourself; I hope you have a wonderful day ahead of you.


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Bill Andrews Wed, Oct 23rd 2013 @ 7:32am

Hi Fatima,
I guess you highlight for us all what the struggle is. It's like a game of snakes and ladders and I suppose the trick is to try to make the ladders longer and the snakes shorter. The ladders are all those things we do that keep us well, (as, for you, mediation, serenity practice etc.) but then we hit snakes that surprise us and catch us off guard. But a snake is just that, a snake and with more and more practice we can more quickly get ourselves back on track again.
As for the mistake in the number, well, instead of self-sabotage, what else could it mean? Just a mistake maybe? And if you know any more about the guy maybe you can find a way to get the correct number to him perhaps.
All the best to you,

Anonymous Wed, Oct 23rd 2013 @ 8:09am

Bill, that is such a lovely considered response - and I know you're quite right both for Fatima and for what happened to me yesterday. I feel I was very unjustly treated (again) despite my attempts to explain my position, and that has swept aside all my progress. What you say makes me realise that I was caught unawares by snakes, and I too should return to my practice. Blessings to both you and Fatima for posting.

Julia Wed, Oct 23rd 2013 @ 8:14am

Oh no! Poor you Fatima. I expect you are spending all your waking thoughts on how to find this person and contact him again. Of course he will try too. I do hope this story has a happy ending. Can you let us know what happens please?

Kirsty Wed, Oct 23rd 2013 @ 10:16am

Hi Fatima / Bill

This resonates so much with me. I was recently discharged from hospital following a relapse and came home charged up with all my learnings about changing negative thought patterns, mindfullness etc and how great things were going to be now that I knew all the answers. The problem is, that the spontaneity of life got in the way and I was soon back to my old negative thinking. It wasn't until I sat down and started thinking how it had all gone wrong that I realised I had expected change to just 'happen' as my brain knew the answers. What I had forgotten is that change requires action and patience, and teething problems are to be expected. When those snakes appear I realise that I need to step back a bit and look at what is really going on and how I can positively with it.

Anonymous Wed, Oct 23rd 2013 @ 2:00pm

Oh Fatima ... but maybe this 'mistake' will lead you to a better place ... takes time to really know someone ... Even more reason to get out there n kiss some more frogs! ... Don't give up - one of 'em will turn out to be Prince GoodEnough and you will be singing 'je ne regret rien' :P

Anonymous Wed, Oct 23rd 2013 @ 3:43pm

It's interesting how I automatically want to jumop into 'solve' or 'future preventative' mode, when I guess what you'd actually need in this situation is sympathy/understanding.

Perhaps I'm unskilled at the latter. I wonder how many times I take the wrong turn when faced with these options?

Best of luck, though,

Julia Wed, Oct 23rd 2013 @ 4:38pm

I find it interesting about many of my responses to blogs too Simon. I often think after I've written them that they are somehow off kilter and aren't what is expected. It's almost as if I have read different words to the ones that are written or I have chosen to interpret the piece according to my mind set at the time. I am glad you have posted this although even now I may have second guessed you.. and wrongly!

Anonymous Thu, Oct 24th 2013 @ 10:14am

it's something i struggle with, blaming myself and being ver self critical when i do something i think is wrong, say the wrong thing, make a mistake. meditation is good in the short term and of course time is the best healer. i normally find within a few days you've forgotten about it. if we can remind ourselves that this will pass it can help

Richard Hull, PhD Thu, Oct 24th 2013 @ 11:57am

Nice post, thank you for sharing

Anonymous Thu, Oct 24th 2013 @ 6:39pm

It's really sad. I hope this story will have a happy ending. You can try posting an ad to craigslist or also there is a website called missed connections. Also there are options like coming to the same place when you met him at the same time, it actually can work and is not that stupid. Don't give up. And even if you don't find him - it's still okay, because it means that life has prepared something even better for you.
Thank you for this personal post.

Anonymous Fri, Oct 25th 2013 @ 8:38am

I hope to find him and have nice end.

Fatima Fri, Oct 25th 2013 @ 9:48am

Hi Everyone,

Thank you for all of your kind words, Bill I love that imagery, it's going to be very useful at times of stuck'ness'. I've noticed that a lot of you were rooting for this premature love story, which makes me feel a tiny bit mean to burst the bubble. Apart from the initial shock of what happened (which gave me the inspiration to write this blog) I haven't actually thought much about the whole thing.
I was more worried that I had sabotaged myself than anything else, and when I realised like Bill said, that it is just a mistake, the whole thing just floated away.

So in a sense it is a happy ending, just a very different one :)

Thank you again,

Melanie Lowndes Sat, Oct 26th 2013 @ 7:38am

This is all rather wonderful to read. I was quite affected by this on Wed and rooting for the love story and would have written something like anonymous at 6.39. Now I have a different perspective. Thank you everyone and best wishes to all of you.

Anonymous Thu, Oct 31st 2013 @ 5:20pm

Dear Fatima and all,
I had a chance meeting with a man at the Red Cross charity shop and I liked his laugh, eye-contact with him and his voice. I was thinking I'd ask his number once we were outside the shop but he had disappeared when I got out. Now I was surprised to have met an interesting man already in August when I had sceduled it for March but now I didn't know him did I.
After a week I thought to go back to the Red Cross and eventually I found both ladies who had served at the time and one of them remembered him. She knows most people in this town but couldn't quite place him. But she's got my number and will be on the look-out for him if he comes again.
As I described him some more I said I thought he might be a mechanical engineer judging from the aire around him. Oh she said. Or maybe he could be called Fredrik. He had that sort of personality in a way. Oh is it him. She said.

I was content somehow with this. I also got clearer on what sort of things I like and look for. Hope is restored and I know if it is meant to be it will be. It is out of my hands. And I can be calm when it really time for me to meet someone (this or another one) I will. I can't miss him then.

Best of luck to you all,

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