We all know the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” But, honestly, I think we’re getting ahead of ourselves. I believe the opportunity starts with the way we treat ourselves, because as we get that sorted out, the Golden Rule is easy peasy. But, until then, it’s just aspirational.
May I suggest a Platinum Rule? I don’t have it sorted out but it’s something like: “treat yourself the way you would like to be treated” or “live the paradox of tender kindness and firm encouragement” or “stop beating up on yourself” or “don’t talk to yourself the way you wouldn’t talk to your best friend” — you get my point…
I notice a crisis, and it’s cross-generational and multi-cultural (certainly in the west. I’ve heard rumor that there are cultures without this self-flagellation, but I don’t have much experience). My observations indicate key factors include comparison, expectation, disappointment and a corruption of hope. It’s actually quite sweet – I believe it comes from our exceptional ability to project and imagine. But, then it often gets wrapped in desire and entitlement, which leads to impatience and futilism.
I postulate that in generations past, life in the moment was so prevalent that our ability to transcend it from time to time augmented our ability to endure. People had tough lives and survival wasn’t guaranteed. Imagining a better future buoyed the spirits to contend with the day.
But in a world with amazon prime, some of us may have developed ridiculous expectations about the speed (and the source) of change. And then we get so caught up on “if i was any good at this magical thinking, all my problems would be solved by now” and then get so fixated on the wanting and the lack we often shut the door on the natural unfolding of perhaps more than what we’d hoped for. It’s a hugely defeatest lifestyle and emotionally excruciating way to spend our moments.
I use *everything* as a reason to beat myself up. I use the present tense because even though Bodyfulness reliably removes that pattern from my day, it does so only when I employ it. I still find myself sliding down those old familiar slopes. Thankfully, I’ve developed that sensation into a cue that has me drop into my feeling state and welcome whatever I am feeling as a passing sensation in a context of wholeness. But those interim moments are excruciating. and I used to do it all the time. Even thinking about it, a sadness descends and my appreciation for these practices skyrockets.