Companionship and Growth
I once read – where, I don’t remember – a phrase that has stuck with me for years, “the tyranny of self-improvement.” This nagging, tyrannical approach to growth imprisons us in the not-good-enough land of perpetual striving and perpetual discontent.
In the presence of an inner dictator, we can still grow – but we grow, despite this judging presence, not because of it. Force impedes growth.
So, where do I plant myself in support of my growth intentions? How do I exercise leadership with myself?
My short answer: compassionate companionship.
I invite a connection between the wise elder within and all the other parts within me - most of whom are younger, some of whom resist growth, all of whom are welcomed.
From the leadership stance of this wise elder, I talk with myself, not at myself. I don’t overpower resistance. I listen respectfully and problem solve from a win-win perspective. I work toward inner alignment.
Sometimes, as the wise elder, I’m gently firm with myself - persistently encouraging and rewarding small steps forward. Sometimes, when I encounter resistance inside – especially strong resistance – I honor and accept the message that I’m not ready for a particular step at a particular time.
Healthy relationship is the source of all lasting influence. Compassionate companionship builds healthy relationship.
Our desire for excellence is innate. Growth is a natural unfolding within us. Compassionate companionship trusts this unfolding - and nurtures it.
In the nourishing environment of compassionate companionship - guided by the inner wise elder - we flow and we grow.