A feral cat yowling hoarsely in the garden last night so none of us slept well. Winter here and there are feral cats hunting for food in the cold.
Brittle bitter cold. Another week opening up, the reluctance of Monday morning, just to get going, to get the usual routines and effort underway.
Showing compassion towards the self, a reminder we all need from time to time.
Contrary to what many people think, treating yourself kindly is also good for achieving your goals. “People believe that self-criticism helps to motivate them,” Neff says. Those low in self-compassion think that unless they are hard on themselves, they will not amount to much—but research reveals that being kind to yourself does not lower your standards. “With self-compassion, you reach just as high, but if you don’t reach your goals it’s okay because your sense of self-worth isn’t contingent on success,” she explains.
And showing compassion to others rather than antipathy, suspicion or criticism is another doorway to feeling more compassionate towards yourself, letting go of all that punitive inner judging:
“There was a unique benefit to giving support—the benefit wasn’t just from feeling connected or realizing that others had problems, too,” explains Breines, a doctoral candidate in psychology and the study’s lead author. During tough times, people naturally tend to focus on themselves and find it difficult to support others, she says. “But actually, as many people intuitively discover, taking the opportunity to support other people can make you feel better about what you’re going through.”
Saturday night the dog was convinced there was a ghost in the house. He sat staring at the wall and trembling. Then he sat barking at an empty doorway. Disconcerting, to say the least. I suspect that there was a tiny earth tremor or thunder in the distance that disturbed him, but it made for a very restless, haunted kind of evening. We reassured the dog and kept peering into empty rooms and listening to see if we could hear anything. The dog sat staring into space and growling at whatever was bothering him. The other small dogs just ignored this psychic medium in their midst and went on snoring on the rug.
So we sat and told one another ghost stories: the figure beckoning on the stairwell in an old Edwardian homestead, the young man riding a black horse across the veld and suddenly vanishing, the hearse speeding on the old road over the notorious mountain pass, stopping only for the dead, a hearse seen by many travellers. The road that runs through the Eastern Cape where a young girl stands at the roadside hitchhiking, a thin arm held out to wave down cars. Passing motorists have stopped in the mist and offered her a lift. She climbs into the back seat and disappears as the driver approaches the nearest town. An enjoyable and scary evening. The dog finally grew bored with the supernatural and put himself to bed. The ghost quietly left the building.