Meditation is like Giving Yourself a Hug (Or Something) #31writenow #nablopomo

by P. Braithwaite

Meditation is like giving yourself a hug. Seriously. It is. Granted, the “you” that’s giving your “self” a hug, is kind of an asshole. Actually, that person is worse than an asshole. The “you” that hugs your “self” has horrible body odor, and she gets really handsy when you lean in for the hug. She tries to cop feels. She’s a little sweaty and moist to the touch. She gives wet kisses and makes you uncomfortable. Sometimes, you think she’s all loving, but she leans in to give you a hug and then calls you a bitch. She also hugs a little too tight — maybe tries to choke you. Sometimes she slaps you; other times she insults you. You believe her. You always believe her. So you back away slowly.

I’m never hugging that crazy b*tch again, you think.

And you go watch the JETS game instead.

But you should probably give it another shot…

See, so much of what runs across our minds is hurtful, damaging and false. We call ourselves stupid, we convince ourselves we’re ugly, we whisper unsweet nothings into our own ears. We turn events over in our heads until they support our claims – she hates me, I love her, I have to protect what’s mine. Every moment of our lives finds us listening to a soundtrack of our own creation.

Not every thought you think is true.

And so…when we meditate, we bring awareness to our inner soundtrack. We open our minds and our hearts to the words that show up and, on a good day, we let them go. We follow our breath, a thought crops up, we let it go and refocus on the breath. We breathe into the places beyond the mind chatter.

We discover that we’re more than we think we are.

I’m not an expert meditator. I’m not even an amateur meditator. On any given day I’m either avoiding my meditation or writing blog posts in my head when I should be meditating. The thoughts can be constant and oppressive. Some days I’m nervous I’m not doing it right. Other days, I’m replaying old events.

And some days, I can drop into the place beyond the chattering-self.

But, even with all the trouble, my philosophy is this: ANY moment I sit down with myself, no matter what comes up, is a victory for me (myself and I).

Why? It’s simple, you cannot expect anyone to sit down beside you, if you aren’t even willing to sit down beside yourself. You can’t expect embraces (nor can you give them fully) when you aren’t willing to (at least try to) embrace yourself. And if you start to see yourself as a friendly place to live, the entire world becomes a little friendlier. Not all the time; but sometimes. And sometimes is good enough for me.

Meditation is the most compassionate thing I can do for myself – even though sometimes it kind of sucks. But if you can sit down with yourself, if you can create a comfortable place in your own body, you create room for the entire world to sit down beside you.

And, yeah…there are health benefits too.

Do you meditate? Share!