When we feel broken inside, everything around us seems broken, too. The sense of being not enough- good enough, capable enough, kind enough, or loving enough, pervades every interaction. Judgments and storylines that uphold them are easy to grab onto, easier still to invent. In a ridiculous attempt to heal we chase the story like an animal chasing its own tail. We spin out of control the harder we try to make sense of the world outside of us.
The only change possible is inward, the place we avoid with self medicating and distractions. It is easier to focus outward even if it makes things worse. It seems less daunting than holding the burden of our own worthlessness. This is when positivity comes in the form of self compassion. Simplify the story to one basic truth- this is a moment of pain. This is what suffering feels like. May I be kind to myself.
Real patience can be cultivated in this dark place. Every time we look out and the brokenness inside touches our fragile relationships and all our daily attempts to accomplish and accrue, can we commit to not making it worse? Can we not say the thing that is sitting on the edge of our tongue? Can we not react to the near misses? Can we just stay put and hold the breaking parts together? Can we have the courage to speak kindly and mend the broken edges of heart together? There is nothing harder than loving the broken places.
Willingness to live through this space lifts it. The more we feel, the faster it moves through, leaving us openhearted, and less afraid to feel the brokenness of others. This is how compassion grows.