Time in the U.S. has been grounding for me in so many ways. One of those ways took me by surprise a couple of weeks ago.

I have always believed my family are my biggest teachers. This was proven yet again at a family reunion and celebration Larry and I held at my aunt’s home for our son’s wedding. Without going into details, my heart got triggered and I began spiralling down into familiar territory of disappointment, abandonment and betrayal.

When I was younger and this happened, I eddied into pools of self-pity, anger, resentment and blame. Yet I knew this familiar territory. This wasn’t new to me and because of the work I have been doing for the past 15 years, this time it was different. This time I was able to find deeper compassion for myself and truly love and embrace that hurting part of me.

I went to the mirror in the closest bathroom and looked into my eyes with deep loving compassion for the pain this part of me was feeling. I didn’t go into the old familiar story.

Instead, I embraced my sadness and loved all of me completely, and in doing so I was able to be there for myself in all the ways I had spent a lifetime wishing she would be there for me.

But that’s not all. In that rich act of compassionate understanding and love, this time I was able to move beyond me and feel this same compassion and love towards this person who caused me pain.

If I felt this pain from her, what pain might she be feeling within herself? I was able to grow past my own selfish small story and extend my compassion toward my mother, my brother, my daughter, my son and into the world beyond my family. I was able to feel compassion for the pain of generations before me.

This thread of pain and shadow I speak of connects us to each other. Heart-felt pain is part of being human and there isn’t one of us that isn’t familiar with some form of pain and suffering within.

When we are able to have this higher perspective, we are able to hold the world with compassion and love. In doing so, we break the cycle of separation, division and the “me against you” mentality. It connects us to each other…human to human, soul to soul.

This is what the world is hungry for. This begins with seeing, accepting and loving the darkest places in your heart. It begins with embracing the shame, the pain, the disappointment and the anger. It means accepting and loving the part of you that is needy, striving and out to prove or earn his/her own self-worth.

When we can soften within our self, the whole world softens around us.

As I explore this terrine with both myself and my clients, I encourage you to do the same. Below are 2 questions to ponder:

​​​When was the last time you connected to that younger, struggling and hurting part within you? That hidden part of you that is wanting to be compassionately seen and loved.

How would it be to see the world through eyes of compassion instead of resentment, jealousy, jugement, victim or blame?

I’d love to know your thoughts on this. The conversation is happening over on my blog.

From my heart to yours,

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