The Buddhist concept of compassion includes compassion for yourself.
How can someone have compassion for others if they don’t have compassion for themselves?
You’re on a plane. The oxygen masks drop.
Put yours on first.
This is vital.
Even if you have your children with you. Your beloved. Your sick grandmother.
If you pass out while trying to put their oxygen mask on them, who have you helped?
Make sure your needs are being met. Don’t feel guilty about caring for yourself. How can you help others if you have no energy?
How can you give something you don’t have?
Last week my older son had a bad day at school.
He got into a fight at recess.
Then he kicked a soccer ball. It hit a teacher in the back. The teacher yelled at him.
He started crying.
The teacher apologized.
My son said he hated himself.
It spiraled down from there.
He’s such a sweet boy.
If anyone should have self-compassion, it’s him.
…if you understood that reference, I love you.
I took my first carload of stuff to my mom’s house.
After clearing away A LOT of cobwebs, it doesn’t seem too bad.
She has a working furnace and water heater.
There’s plenty of space to work with.
There’s also PLENTY of work to do.
But I think it can be made livable.
I think of myself as a humble person.
I don’t go around talking about how great I am.
I don’t even think it.
There is one area I need help with:
I don’t ask for help.
I’ll do anything I can think of to avoid it.
When I move I do as much on my own as I can.
I’ll visit forums looking for answers to questions. If no one has asked the question, I’ll move on. I don’t want to ask it myself.
Look at all kinds of do-it-yourself books, websites etc. If a task requires a second person, I’ll lose interest.
I wonder what refusing to ask has cost me.
Separation from my babies?
Moving into a dungeon?
How much worse will things have to get?
I’ve mentioned before that I’m fat.
I’m guessing at least half of that excess weight came from Mountain Dew.
Partially because I like the way it tastes.
Partially because of the caffeine.
Quitting caffeine sucks.
I hate having a headache all the time.
Being tired all the time is the worst!
Caffeine withdrawal gives me this weird thirst. I can’t quench it with water.
After the withdrawals are over I feel a lot better, though.
When I drink caffeine habitually I get heartburn.
As well as other digestive issues.
I don’t sleep very well. I wake up in the middle of the night. Then I don’t want to go back to sleep.
Drinking caffeine is not the best option for me.
But I have a hard time sticking to any kind of schedule.
Sometimes I get sleep deprived. I feel like I need something extra.
Just one won’t hurt.
It’s never just one.
Before I know it, it’s become a habit again.
Even if it’s just little. Just a finger twitch.
Move slightly in the direction you want to go.
Then tomorrow move a little more.
Build up some momentum.
It’s okay if you fall down. Just get back up.
Help someone. It doesn’t have to be anything big.
Hold the door for someone.
Let someone else go first.
Smile at someone.
Give someone the benefit of the doubt.
These are just little things, but they help make the world a better place.
Make sure the world is just a little better because you’re here.
Improve a little bit every day.
Be kind to others.
Be kind to yourself.
I was in sixth grade.
I had burritos for breakfast every morning.
Bean and cheese burritos.
They were cheap, filling and tasty.
They also caused some digestive issues.
One day all the classes in our grade were in the gym for P.E.
At the end of P.E. we would sit cross-legged on the floor. We would sit quietly for a few minutes to calm down before going back to class.
It was silent.
That was when it happened. It echoed loudly off the hard floor and walls.
Everyone scooted away from me. Some laughing. Some making noises of disgust.
For the rest of the year my nickname was “Farting Philip.”
I stopped eating burritos for breakfast after that.
But the damage was done.
Thankfully I started at a different school the next year, and didn’t hear any more about it.
In the past I’ve wondered if I was bisexual or gay.
I’m not the most masculine man.
I’m kind of effeminate.
I like cross-stitch.
I’ve sewn and done crochet.
I know I’m not gay, though, because I’m very attracted to women.
In the past I’ve accidentally downloaded gay porn.
“Phil, how did you ‘accidentally’ download gay porn?”
At the time I used LimeWire to download videos. I had to rely on file names to tell what I was downloading. Some of those file names were lies.
The feelings I got from watching gay porn were revulsion and nausea. So I know I’m not bisexual.
I’m not trying to say anything negative about anyone who is gay or bisexual.
I just know that’s not who I am.
On my seventh birthday I had a sleepover. The only sleepover I ever had.
I had just my best friend over.
We went to a movie. The Black Cauldron.
Later we were changing into our pajamas. We showed each other our penises.
There was no touching or anything.
I was just curious.
Teach children to speak.
Teach them how to think.
NOT what to think.
Teach them to think critically.
Teach them to ask questions.
Show them how to find answers to their questions.
Nurture their curiosity.
Offer them help when they need it.
Then, for heaven’s sake, get out of their way.
I’m not saying they should be allowed to spend all day on social media. Or playing video games.
Give them supervision. Make sure they’re learning something.
Make sure they know the skills they’ll actually need as an adult.
Give them the resources they need.
Don’t force them to memorize a bunch of facts, regurgitate them onto a test, then never use them again.
Help them find their talents and grow them.
Let them run around and play when they need to. They’ll focus better afterwards.
Don’t turn learning into drudgery.
Someone who loves learning will become a lifelong learner and make a great contribution to the world.
Someone who hates learning will become a dullard who never picks up a book again after they finish school.