You Always Have A Choice

Being a sensitive person is quite challenging sometimes. It’s tricky cultivating compassion because to truly be compassionate means you have to be willing to sit with people’s pain. Their fear. Their trauma and dysfunction.  Mind you, that does not mean you take it on as your own. Your story is not my story, and vise versa.  However to really show up fully, you have to sit with the intensity of the feelings. When I do this, I notice my lizard brain goes into overdrive. That shit is uncomfortable and the animal reaction in me is to escape that discomfort however I can (AKA: fight or flight). Thank goddess for my meditation practice that gives me the space to watch this happen and not necessarily act on it.

I watched one person be cruel to another person today. It wasn’t my deal, so even though every fiber of my animal being wanted to jump in and fix, I knew it wasn’t my place to intercede. It’s not my battle to fight. I realize that sometimes it is appropriate to step in and stand up for someone. This was not one of those situations. Trust me, I did a lot of soul searching before coming to this conclusion.

I can see, from a distance, why the one person was cruel to the other. They come from a lot of trauma. They come from a place of fear, where they think every situation is a survival scenario. I’ve sat with them and heard their stories and felt their pain. However, I can also see how, because they move from this place, they have royally screwed over this other person. It’s unfair and infuriating to watch. I’m angry with them about it. Yet, at the same time, I am deeply sad for them. My heart is breaking for the the one who was cruel, and for the one on the receiving end of the cruel actions.


So what is a yogi to do when we’re not called to act, but still called to be fully present? I think that’s just it. There is nothing to do. We just show up, hold space, and remember that kindness begets kindness. Love begets love. Be fully aware that we have a choice to either contribute to the pain and fear, or contribute light. Whatever that may look like. In many cases that means simply being your loving self. Staying fully aware and open, even when your heart is breaking.


Then fall on your practice – meditate, practice yoga, sing, dance, go for a run, call a neutral friend, pet your dog…whatever helps you feel grounded and connected to something bigger than you. Something that makes you feel good. Take care of you. Because no matter what drama may be unfolding around you, you cannot support and love if you feel crappy.

I have this teacher from India who says that true wisdom is knowing when to stand up and fight, and when to surrender. It’s a tricky dance sometimes. It takes a lot of presence and mindfulness to know for sure which way to go…and even then, sometimes it can feel a bit unclear. Just cut yourself some slack and do the best you can. And remember – Kindness begets kindness. Love begets love. And that you always have a choice. Always.

Jennifer Noble