Last week an incident occurred when I was teaching and I slipped into fight/flight/freeze mode. I froze on the spot and couldn’t hear what people were saying, and didn’t know how to respond. This has a tendency to happen to me when I notice a threat to my environment. Tara Brach explains it in the following way:
“The emotion of fear often works overtime. Even when there is no immediate threat, our body may remain tight and on guard, our mind narrowed to focus on what might go wrong. When this happens, fear is no longer functioning to secure our survival. We are caught in the trance of fear and our moment-to-moment experience becomes bound in reactivity. We spend our time and energy defending our life rather than living it fully.”
After a day or two, I noticed I was going over the event again and again and contemplating all the things I could have done differently.
I was telling myself I wasn’t good enough.
I was telling myself I was unable to communicate ‘effectively’
I was telling myself I didn’t know how to respond properly and that I looked like a fool.
Only, this pushed me further into the depths of negative self talk as I told myself that I hadn’t handled the situation ‘properly.’
The most important thing you can do to free yourself from negative self-judgement
Then during my meditation this morning I had a light bulb moment and everything shifted.
I noticed for the first time that there was an air of judgement overriding all of my thoughts.
I was judging myself as not being good enough.
I was judging myself for being unable to communicate ‘effectively’
I was judging myself for not responding properly and looking like a fool.
When I looked at the situation through a different lens I was able to see that I did the best I can with the resources I had at that moment.
Instead of judging our behaviour we can put on some different spectacles and look at any given situation through a lens of self compassion, love, acceptance and growth.
We can choose to ask ourselves the following questions:
Does there need to be a better way, or is everything happening exactly as it’s meant to happen?
What can I learn from this situation?
What gift did this situation bestow on me?
How can I do it next time (if it happens)?
If I was talking to a friend who had experienced this, what would I tell them? (Now tell that to yourself)
Offering ourselves compassion lessons the blow.
It allows us to soften out of judgement and move on from situations that have causes us pain and suffering.
Today, I choose self-compassion over judgement.
What do you choose?