Your Brain on Compassion
Samantha Harrington

Nice. Great post about a very relevant subject.

When I was about 20, I was obsessed with the idea of having “friction” in my life. Of course, being 20, I could have meant some other type of friction which was missing from my life. But now I know that I actually meant friction that occurs when one is supposed to confront his own existence and ask questions like: what defined me in former eras of my existence? what do I hate about myself? what should define me in the forecoming era of my existence?

I think we’re naturally bound to transform all the time. But we have to be able to face the painful stuff if we want to transform. Phrases like “it’ll be alright” prove that our culture isn’t really offering us any kind of help in that matter. Of course it will be alright, but please give me some time to cope with the non-alright things. It doesn’t mean that it’s tragic if it’s not alright, it’s supposed to be not alright!!! I think every healthy person comes to a point where he starts to hate himself. Hating yourself, such a big source of various mental diseases, could be transformed into a creative force which would allow people to feel more interactive with the world. What’s interactive in constantly fending off other people’s (sometimes rationally made) criticisms and then bathing in your own sorrow? Life is here and now, we can’t outsource all of our emotion to TV series and reality shows! Hating oneself is in my opinion a normal instinct that helps one shed off his former skin (the one that doesn’t serve his purposes anymore).

But shedding skin sometimes means admitting to yourself that you’re an idiot. And that’s only the start. While actually admiteddly feeling like an idiot, having no or little ego that could help you fend off childlish attacks from other self-enslaved people, you still have to stay focused enough to spot ideas that could correspond to your new self! I don’t think our culture of sterility and positivity really allows us to plunge into that “gruesome” darkness, and I think it’s not doing us (nor it) any favours.

Opportunities for transformation are everywhere. They pop-up on every corner even if you’re not knowingly exploring. But our self-defense mechanisms have to be turned off when we face those opportunities. If they’re on, we just get frightened of a new situation and eventually start repeating all about how other people are bad, immoral, selfish etc. Those other people probably do the same, and the self-deception grows larger and larger as it becomes tougher and tougher to get out of it. What hurts the most is that it becomes ever more intangible and paradoxical with time.

So, whenever you feel like you are approaching an event that might help you symbolically shed off your skin, delve into it. It might be painful going in there, especially if you’re insecure and angry at yourself for your former faults, but it will pay off. It’s there where “the friction” occurs. It’s there where life and creativity spring from.