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Thursday, October 31 2019

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.  









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