Be Kind to Your Future Self by Jeremy Lehrer

I don’t know what triggered this, but as I walked by a small storefront café somewhere in midtown Manhattan, I thought to myself: We all have bad habits and patterns that we are struggling to emerge from. For one person, it might be alcoholism; for another, media addiction; for someone else, jealousy, fear of commitment, or an inconsistency in meditation practice.

It’s sometimes very difficult to break out of these cycles—these samskaras of samsara—but I think it helps to think of your future self as another person entirely. Think of this future self as you would a good friend whom you adore and care for very much. You don’t want to see that beloved friend suffering, going through the same miseries that you are at this moment. With that in mind, I believe it”s easier to muster the strength and resolve necessary to break the negative pattern that you are in, whatever it may be.

You can imagine that beloved friend/future self in your mind’s eye and think of how happy they are once freed of this particular misery. Then engage in the struggle to free yourself because you love this person—someone who is other than you—and you don’t want to see them suffering. Do it out of compassion for your future self.

originally posted on yogacitynyc | 14 April, 2012

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