Today I’m a More Compassionate Person

February 13, 2008

For the past couple of days I’ve been doing my Morning Pages before my meditating and not after.  Morning Pages are 3+ pages of constant, nonstop, stream-of-consciousness writing.  Just continuous writing, with no idea of correctness or incorrectness, everything is game.

Morning Pages are a concept I’ve read about in several books.  The Artist’s Way is the book that gave it this name and triggered me to actually doing it.  In order for them to be most effective, you’re supposed to do them when you first get up, and before you’re completely awake.  In that way, your mind is still in a state where it’s not awake enough to actually pre-filter anything that comes out of the pen.

This morning I sat down, still sleepy, to do my Morning Pages.  I started off by writing that I had nothing to write about, and can we please get our Morning Pages over with so I can start my day….  grumble, grumble, etc. etc.

Before I knew it, I segued into writing about an especially difficult relationship that I have in my life.  I wrote about how I didn’t like this particular person, what I didn’t like about them, how I hate the way they do this and do that.  I kept writing and writing and bitching about this person.  As I wrote, I found myself writing out every tiny minute thing about my faults in the relationship and their faults in the relationship and why I react to them in the way that I do, and alternatively what must be going through their heads when they react to me.  It was almost like a one-person play, where the one person is me talking about this person in a monologue, no holds barred.  I described every little tiny detail about our relationship that I could think of, going back and forth talking about myself and then talking about them:  Looking at me through their eyes, and then looking at them through my own eyes.

I ended up going through an experience that is identical to what I’ve gone through in the past with therapists, only better because I was talking about the problem in my own way.  My head was controlling the flow and direction, not someone outside of my head.

My Morning Pages completely unravelled this relationship.  I wrote stuff I could never say out loud (cause it’s, well, seriously bitchy).  I was able to completely partition out the relationship section by section, and take each section as a separate entity.  I threw away stuff that really seemed explosive at the time but were not related to the core problems.  After doing this sectioning and culling, I was left with one or two things which described the exact trigger points for me.  I could build every single event and attitude I had about this person from these trigger points.

I wrote 5 pages as I picked through my brain on all of the issues.  When I got to the root cause(s), I looked at the history of behavior of this person and anything else I knew about them.  I found myself replacing my knee-jerk emotional reactions with a seed of compassion.  I think my Morning Pages and meditating are making me a better person.

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4 Responses to “Today I’m a More Compassionate Person”

  1. lirone said

    Interesting post…. I think there is always a danger in meditating on loving kindness and compassion that it’s all just roses and fluffy bunnies and niceness. I remember just how fantastic that can feel – but I think there’s something unreal about it. Sometimes rose-tinted spectacles can have a blinding effect, and cause us to behave naively.

    So I’d say that there comes a point when you have to start including people with negative qualities in your meditation. To be aware of the ways they have hurt you and the ways they could hurt you if you do not protect yourself – and then try to maintain that feeling of loving kindness towards them without ignoring the bad bits.

    That’s much harder, and takes much more time and thought, and analysis of your own engagement with them. But I’d say it’s a lot more real and a lot more powerful. Sounds like you’ve moved a lot closer towards that with your ex so many congratulations.

  2. I wonder if your recent blog entry had anything to do with my being a more compassionate person today 🙂

  3. lirone said

    Would that be because you’ve been contemplating my negative qualities? 😀

  4. your positive ones 🙂

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