What do I need now?
Oh, that’s EASY: I need some chocolate, coffee, or both!
LOL, no, That’s not what I need – that’s more like a passing thought before I realize: no, I need a lot more than that at this time.
Asking “What do I need now” is the third step in the self-compassion break.
Our habit is to skip straight to this question. Or to skip even this question and ask, instead, what does THIS PROBLEM need right now?
Can you see the distinction between solving the problem and taking the step that you need right now, with the steps you need right now coming BEFORE you solve the problem?
Were you following us when we talked about the previous two steps, which are more or less the two prior episodes?
Remember the first step is an awareness that’s nonjudgmental and ready to see suffering in yourself or others. It’s an awareness that doesn’t hurry by. It’s already set you up to be fully present for yourself, without overreacting or dismissing your difficulty, suffering, setback, frustration, or whatever it is.
The second step is telling yourself how this difficulty is connected to the broader human experience, how others suffer, and that suffering or setbacks are part of the human experience. You connect yourself so that you don’t go into isolation, which is our most typical response.
Now you are ready to ask: What do I need now?
Consider that sometimes what we need is inwardly directed. A moment of emotional reassurance, some physical calming, or simply validation that, yes, this situation is tough. Sometimes we will need to step into discomfort, to acknowledge, yes, taking this next step is also challenging but it’s time to take the action that is needed here, perhaps to give something a try, to step into conflict, to create a boundary, or perhaps to step back and respect someone else’s boundary.
Ask for the tip sheet!!
If you would like a PDF that you can use to guide yourself through a self-compassion break, email us & we would be happy to send it to you. It’s free!
We would love to see you experiment with this practice!
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We are Karen and Curtis Herbert, founders of The Catholic Midlife. Our mission is to spark a catholic midlife renewal and help YOU to step into your next season with purpose, hope, and a clear vision for the rest of your life.
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