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There’s a Pale Moon in the Sky

“There’s a pale moon in the sky
The kind you make your wishes on
Oh, like the light in your eyes
The one I built my dreams upon
It’s not there any longer
Something happened somewhere and we both know why
But me, I’m getting stronger
We must stop pretending
I can’t live this life”

There's a pale moon in the sky, The kind you make your wishes on, Oh, like the light in your eyes, The one I built my dreams upon

The one where I talk about something I don’t know a lot about. Self compassion.

Hey, I know more today than I knew yesterday, and a heck of a lot more than I knew last month or last year. I think lately about what compassion means to me. Being warm and understanding. Giving second and third chances. Offering advice, but only if asked, that promotes that person’s wellness, rest, confidence, logic, heart, everything. Maybe being a cheerleader and a nurse and a listening ear. Promoting and fostering and nourishing. You know, giving others what I rarely give (or take) to and from myself. Like when someone in your life comes to you to tell you that they have failed, that they feel scared, that they feel adequate. Aren’t you always so quick to tell them they haven’t failed, or that if they have, it’s a stepping stone to success? And that they can feel scared, but they have support on their side. That they’re not inadequate; not even in the least.

Can we be as quick to tell that to ourselves when things seem dark and twisty and looming?

They are not inadequate. And I am not either. Not even close, thank you very much. I’ve had this weird way, partly by birth, partly by nature, partly by close and lifelong proximity to people who challenge me and not always see me, to think that everyone else must be much more loved, supported, and encouraged than I am. That they surely have no demons or tension or tough days. It’s not logic speaking, but whatever it is, it speaks in a loud voice. And it’s funny that I never think the things about myself that I think about other people. That my loved ones are lucky to have me, as I’m lucky to have them. That I try as a friend, daughter, mom, partner, etc.

There's a pale moon in the sky, The kind you make your wishes on, Oh, like the light in your eyes, The one I built my dreams upon

In learning about anything, I have to research it, as I always do. It’s fun to do things by instinct, and also fun to learn from experts. Or expand upon what they know. The intense research I do on trauma, and the readings I do on relationships meet in a lot of places in the middle. Self respect seems important to me. Standing up for yourself kindly, but firmly, but also knowing when it’s not going to happen. Maybe you need to take space rather than getting yourself locked in a conversation or scenario that no one wants to have or be in. Self compassion is mindfulness, and being aware of present moments, moment-to-moment experiences, and finding clarity and balance. It can be chewing every delicious bite you’re eating, slowly and surely, thinking about the sensations you’re experiencing in very vivid detail (like a couch and how it’s holding you, or who/what you’re holding), as well as pausing to gather yourself and your thoughts before unpleasant conversations and experiences. Mindfulness also means being open to the reality in the present. Letting all sensations and thoughts and emotions enter your awareness without resistance. You learn to experience the world, and respond, in new ways.

There's a pale moon in the sky, The kind you make your wishes on, Oh, like the light in your eyes, The one I built my dreams upon

Vermont Country Store in Weston, Vermont

Self compassion is self-kindness, which is caring toward ourselves the way we care for other people. Being supportive and encouraging, and protecting ourselves from harm. Making the choice to soothe and comfort ourselves when life circumstances are challenging, difficult, and overwhelming. We offer ourselves warmth and unconditional love and acceptance, and we don’t berate ourselves for being inadequate. It’s being patient too. This one has been harder for me. I no longer think about self-care (not self kindness) as taking a bath when I’m overwhelmed. It’s about carving space for myself, and having kindness and respect towards myself and others to give myself that space. I think self kindness would be that, but deeper. It’s not about lighter and fluffier things. Maybe it’s the conversations I could have with myself; by myself. It’s a bath, and a long standing date with myself to check in with myself and offer myself warmth and patience.

We all need someone, and I need myself.

There's a pale moon in the sky, The kind you make your wishes on, Oh, like the light in your eyes, The one I built my dreams upon

And then we have common humanity, which is recognizing that all humans, and 100% me, are complex and flawed works-in-progress. We all fail, make mistakes, and go through hardships. The challenges are learning to accept and forgive ourselves for flaws, and honoring that life has suffering for everyone, without exception. And the common humanity helps us to remember that it’s a shared human experience, and there is pain, but that suffering can be transformed into connection with others. That is incredibly powerful. Self compassion is a gift, and I’m using it as a holiday gift this year! My hope is that I learn to practice it daily, and that YOU all do too.

There's a pale moon in the sky, The kind you make your wishes on, Oh, like the light in your eyes, The one I built my dreams upon

There's a pale moon in the sky, The kind you make your wishes on, Oh, like the light in your eyes, The one I built my dreams upon

Self compassion is also taking this time to stop writing, and to be more present in my reality, which currently involves kids and puppies. Last week, I wrote a post I was proud enough to share on Facebook. Maybe this one will only live for regular blog readers, and for myself. I’ve taken years off from writing anything of substance, and that was ok, because I started again. It all comes back; always comes back. What you’re facing and fighting, and what is rising and falling. It will come out and be heard. Sometimes it’s in words, sometimes it’s in photos, and sometimes, blessedly, in the right combination of both. I’m giving you both those things today.

And it’s a beautiful thing.

There's a pale moon in the sky, The kind you make your wishes on, Oh, like the light in your eyes, The one I built my dreams upon

There's a pale moon in the sky, The kind you make your wishes on, Oh, like the light in your eyes, The one I built my dreams upon

There's a pale moon in the sky, The kind you make your wishes on, Oh, like the light in your eyes, The one I built my dreams upon

There's a pale moon in the sky, The kind you make your wishes on, Oh, like the light in your eyes, The one I built my dreams upon

There's a pale moon in the sky, The kind you make your wishes on, Oh, like the light in your eyes, The one I built my dreams upon

There's a pale moon in the sky, The kind you make your wishes on, Oh, like the light in your eyes, The one I built my dreams upon

There's a pale moon in the sky, The kind you make your wishes on, Oh, like the light in your eyes, The one I built my dreams upon

There's a pale moon in the sky, The kind you make your wishes on, Oh, like the light in your eyes, The one I built my dreams upon

There's a pale moon in the sky, The kind you make your wishes on, Oh, like the light in your eyes, The one I built my dreams upon

There's a pale moon in the sky, The kind you make your wishes on, Oh, like the light in your eyes, The one I built my dreams upon

“Don’t care now who’s to blame
I don’t really want to fight no more
This is time for letting go
Hanging on to the past
It only stands in our way
We had to grow for our love to last
But we just grew apart
No, I don’t want to hurt no more”

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3 Comments

  1. Love and compassion for ourselves is fundamental because everyone has value. I believe we were given value by our creator, and we show appreciation for that generosity by taking care of the gift, both in ourselves and in others.

    I’m a huge fan of mindfulness. It makes every experience richer!

    I hope all of you enjoy a wonderful, healthy, happy Christmas together!!

  2. Beautiful family pics Tamara! I never give self compassion a thought. Perhaps I can now make it one of my New Year’s Resolutions. I’m already anxious to see just how long l can actually keep it. Especially during this season of giving gifts, and most importantly giving of oneself l always place myself at the end of my own lists, but l never really mind it. Tina had mojo like no one before or since! She put so much compassion into her voice, and you could feel it in her songs, and be moved by her compassion in her stage and video performances. Merry Christmas 🎅 🤶🎄🎁⛄️❤️ to You Tamara and to everyone in your family, and to everyone in your social media family!

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