Befriending Yourself and Others
Shambhavi responds to a question about how to be friendlier toward oneself. The follow-up question relates to how and when to try to help others who are suffering. A podcast from Satsang with Shambhavi
Podcast First Words
Question: Can you talk more about practical ways to be more friendly to oneself?
Shambhavi’s answer: Well one of the reasons we’re not friendly toward ourselves is because we’re not actually noticing that other people in the world have the same problems that we do. We think we’re somehow specially horrible. [laughter]
If we would poke our heads up and look around, we see that we have a lot in common with other people. We’re kind of all in this together, right? There’s nothing that you have that bothers you about you that someone else doesn’t also have. Or some millions of people don’t also have that bothers them about them.
But when we’re in this I-pod thinking—It’s just me! I’m just beset in this special way. Then it’s very hard to be friendly to yourself. But when we can see that we have this in common with so many people, we see that this is just the human condition. Then there’s a sweetness that enters into our suffering. And that sweetness takes the form of a feeling of friendliness or even just helplessness. You know there’s a certain sweetness of just being helpless in the face of our own condition.
I keep coming back to this word poignancy. There’s a poignancy to our condition. But we only recognize that when we recognize that we’re in the same boat with everybody else. This is not about us alone. We can’t solve it alone. We came in this way. It’s not our fault. This is just how humans are. There’s nothing wrong with you, these are just the experiences you’re having.