Sunday Pause with Laura 9/18/22

Sep 19, 2022 | Blog, Newsletters

Happy Sunday, friends and colleagues!

Thanks so much for being a part of our community. Your presence, curiosity and Self energy extends near and far. We feel it!

Here’s a clarification about my mailings…

Weekday emails are geared toward IFS Professionals regarding upcoming Offerings.

Sunday’s Pause with Laura mailings are geared for all of you–offering reflections/photos/videos applying IFS to my life and inviting you to apply the framework to yours. Organizing audience categories is a work in progress. Feel free to reply anytime with requests or comments. Your input is important and thanks for your patience in hearing back from me. My critics do a pretty good job reminding me of my shortcomings, oh joy! 🙏🏼

Wonder Girl enjoying a sunset over the Olympics Mountains from Seattle before our overnight flight and welcoming Boston sunrise.

Last weekend, Erik and I celebrated our niece’s wedding on the other side of the country on the Atlantic Ocean. Whenever I fly from sea to shining sea, I’m reminded how incredibly wide our country is. The fact we have technology to cover 3000 miles in 5+ hours–what took me a full week to drive last summer–still baffles me.

Erik and I share a special connection to our niece. Her birth determined our wedding date so that her family could attend from across the country. We couldn’t get married without them present! We have watched, nurtured and loved our ‘lil wedding weed grow and mature like a child of our own.

Now, 27 years later, we were given the honor to speak on compassion and marriage during their service. That doesn’t sound too hard, does it? We certainly had plenty of material to pull from. However, quickly into our preparations and conversations that began months ago, we realized we had NEVER partnered before in giving a talk.

Over the years, we’ve composed entertaining Schmidt Happens annual mailings for close friends and family, but collaborating in this way was a new endeavor and took just a smidge 🙂 longer than we anticipated. Condensing nearly three decades of reflections from a philosopher and a psychotherapist into a twelve minute talk was no small feat, but an honor we took seriously and embraced with care and intention. The process was an enlightening exercise in communication, honesty and partnership. A number of the young couples present requested a copy so they could continue to reflect on the content more carefully–a humbling, unexpected gift.

Finishing up what we thought was the “final” draft in the airport!

Wedding day in perfect weather in Falmouth, MA.

I wish I could share the following story with you in person–one of the steps included in our talk. I warned the couple prior to the service that I might not be able to look at them while I spoke, because I still couldn’t read it aloud without crying–even alone in our hotel room! Deep breaths. Take your time. I’m with you, parts.

Compassion leads to self-compassion.

It’s usually much easier for me to extend compassion towards someone else than towards myself. Can any of you relate?

After my brain injury in 2010, I found myself unemployed, socially isolated and entirely dependent on Erik for my existence—for years. One of my greatest fears in life is to be a burden, and that’s all I was. I couldn’t offer anyone anything, and my feeling of worthlessness was nearly unbearable.

One evening I broke down, sobbing, “I’m such a lug,”

Without missing a beat, Erik looked at me with soft, loving eyes, squeezed my hands and gently whispered, “But you’re MY lug.”

In those four words, Erik acknowledged the difficulty the injury presented. He didn’t deny it or sugarcoat it. AND, he held my experience with genuine compassion and love.

‘It’s ok, Laura. I’m here. I got you. We’re a team and I’m not going anywhere.”

I had to borrow self-compassion from Erik for a long time, until I was able to generate it for myself, and tell myself those words when I need to hear them the most.

I hope you can reflect on a moment or period of time when you were shown the compassion you deserve to give yourself–often easier said than done, I know.

What gets in the way of offering your parts compassion? What helps?

Feel free to reply here and let me know. (I’m working on finding a way for you all to see one another’s comments soon!)

Sending the gratitude, energy, hope and delight of new love and partnership. Have a wonderful week and I look forward to seeing some of you soon!

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