One Sentence Saturday – I Love This Quote!: KIOS Blog-A-Thon, Day 21

Today’s KIOS Blog-A-Thon prompt is: “Share with us a quote you love”

Image credit: Hien Nguyen/Flickr
Image credit: Hien Nguyen/Flickr

Criticize me all you want, but I love quotes. I find many of them to be healing and encouraging. Like a song or painting, so many of them re-connect me with a truth. The best experience with quotes are when I am feeling somethings unsettled or unformed, and I stumble across a few words that put shape to the feeling. I get that “YES!” experience that only a connected life can offer.

There are too many quotes that I love for me to pick just one, so I will select one that is pertinent to right now.

“Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.” ~ Pema Chödrön

I’m a crier and a deep-sea dweller. What I think this means for many people is that I can be boring and uncomfortable to be around. Yeay me! But really, I love serious existential topics and discussing the interrelations of life, art, and symbolism. I’m not afraid to talk about those dark, disturbing, and uncomfortable life experiences. I can be lighthearted too, but it’s usually in a spontaneous moment, or in the presence of people I feel safe and comfortable around. I’m not the chatty life of the party, or a karaoke queen, but, if you need someone to connect with because you are going through a rough time, I’m yer gal.

Getting to know others like me has made me realize that being this kind of person can make people uncomfortable. Not many people want to address their unwanted feelings, and by nature, I bring that out in people. I don’t mean to. Seriously. Many people are uncomfortable with quiet and stillness. It makes us anxious and allows for unresolved feelings to arise. I think what happens is that my quiet nature allows me to be a blank screen for others to project onto.  You may call this psychobabble, but like it or not, it’s human nature. We all do it.

This quote means so much to me right now as I’m beginning to understand this part of me on a deeper level. I’m understanding how this part of me, the quiet deep-sea dweller, allows me to be connected to and compassionate with those who need and want some compassion. Before I could offer this to others, I had to go through my own painful process and learn how to be compassionate with myself. As a therapist in training, this is crucial to my work. I notice that clients who are ready for the journey of healing can harness the compassion I have to offer and begin to understand their own path of self-compassion.

As for my non-career self, it can be tough. I can still go to painfully dark places, with a small part of myself trusting that it’s part of my growth. However when I do go to these dark places, it forces others to decide if they can meet me there or not. We can’t all be there for each other  100% of the time (I know I have my moments when I can’t connect with others) so having a small cluster of deep-sea dwellers helps.

On a side note this short video on empathy describes so well the challenging task of connecting with others who are going through rough experiences. I really love it as it reminds me how to be genuinely connected, and why I sometimes can’t be.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. paleololigo says:

    So true…

    Reminds me a bit of the interaction between Spock and McCoy at the beginning of Star Trek IV, when McCoy asks Spock about his thoughts on dying and Spock says that they can’t discuss it because McCoy has never died before (whereas Spock has – in case you’re not familiar with the movie).

    This certainly explains why I connect so much more with students that come to me explaining that they’re struggling in school because of anxiety issues. They thank me for being so understanding. Of course I am. I have sooooo been there. It makes a huge difference, on both sides of the conversation.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Ahimsa says:

      Thanks for sharing! Thanks for the insight. I think working with youth can be so rewarding and you know when you’ve made an impact. I had a few people in my youth that I connected with, and for that reason, chose to keep working with youth. Thanks again 🙂

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