As you may know, I am a huge fan of Tara Brach. And I’m blatantly stealing this blog post title from her. Because it works.
When my heart is racing. When I’m tense or anxious. When it all feels like too much, I’ve learned (from Tara Brach) to put my hand on my heart and say (to myself), “It’s okay, sweetheart.”
One of the messages I’m hoping to share with to the moon and back is that, as a species – or at least in this culture, I believe we are all way too hard on ourselves – too self-critical, too self-judging, too self-lambasting – and we all need a huge dose of self-compassion and self-love. Putting my hand on my heart is a way to give myself that love. I feel the tenderness. I feel the genuine caring. I feel my heart ease.
I learned years ago, in Al-Anon, to tell myself the things I need to hear. Sometimes it’s nice to hear other people say those things to us, but you can’t always count on other people to tell you what you need to hear. At least not as much as you can count on yourself. Other people may be too caught up in their own drama, or their own perceptions, or their own rules about what is right and wrong to say. But I can tell myself what I need to hear. I can tell myself what I need to know.
When I put my hand on my heart, it’s the calming embrace that I long for. Physiologically it seems to quiet my racing pulse. To slow down my breath. To soothe my anxiety. And when I say “It’s okay, sweetheart,” I, again, feel the tenderness and compassion, the genuine caring, my heart easing.
It seems like such a simple thing to do. It is such a simple thing to do. And yet it has powerful results. And yet I can forget to do it and can, instead, dive into pushing and performing and achieving.
“It’s okay sweetheart,” reminds me that it is, essentially, okay. That right now, in this moment, everything is fine. I am fine. And by “fine” I don’t mean the acronym I learned decades ago, that can also explain and ease stress – “F—d up, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional.” I mean it’s okay and I’m okay. I’m in no danger, and, if look hard enough, I can find peace and ease and joy.
Thank you, Tara. Thank you for reminding us to put our hands on our hearts and offer ourselves the love and compassion we long for.
Because, it is okay sweetheart.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!