You might be wearing a heavy coat of armour. It may have served you well in the past. Perhaps you had to protect yourself from unreliable caregivers, or the disappointment of untrustworthy friends. It was quite brilliant of you to don this armour under these circumstances. But the problem with wearing armour is that it is quite possibly keeping you from the good will of the present-day people around you. Also armour is really, really heavy.
“For love to work, you have to take it in….” George Vallient – director of the Harvard Grant study
Today’s letting go exercise: Take off your armour
- Think of a kindness you have received, big or small.
- How did you react to this kindness? Can you stay open to it and take it in? Or does the armour get in the way?
- If you have had inconsistent experience with loving kindness, you may feel kind of raw, maybe even suspicious of kindness. You may even feel like kindness is overdue and owed to you. This is normal…. and a good time to practice deep breathing, calming your nervous system, to help in taking in the kindness as a healing force.
- Practice feeling grateful for the time and attention given to you.
- For the next few days, notice small kindnesses around you, a door held open, a phone called returned. Notice your reaction. Suspicion, worries of ulterior motives? Are you hiding behind your armour, or can you stay open to loving kindness?
Notice your patterns of shutting down to loving kindness over the next few days.
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