Bringing Compassion to Our Lostness

Over the last two weeks, there has been much anger and judgement and disagreement. There has been much suffering and pain. Tears shed and positions taken. What I offer here is the route to heal the division within ourselves which heals the division ‘out there’.

We’re all doing best based on the thinking that looks real to us in the moment.

~Michael Neill

What comes up for you when you read that quote? For me, it’s compassion and relief.

I once shared it on social and someone challenged back saying ‘I’m not sure everyone’s doing their best all the time’ which isn’t the intent of it. It’s the best we can do in that moment — whatever that moment is — based on whatever thinking looks real — just in that moment.

Because hands up who’s done something or said something and then regretted it? Hands up who’s had a ‘not my finest moment’ moment? Every single one of us. And what do we tend to do? Judge. We judge ourselves. We judge others. We might tell a story about how they wound us up to that point, or how it wasn’t my fault, or how we’ve told them repeatedly what we need from them — while inside there’s a drip of anguish at the untruth of it all.

Last week, in the heat of emotions and discussion following George Floyd’s death, I saw people on social media being jumped on for offering their perspective about why they hadn’t posted a black square or talked about it (yet). Judged by the very same people who’d said silence = compliance, and yet in speaking up these others apparently weren’t meeting the speaking up expectations.

This was a visible version of what the conceptual mind, or idea of self, does all the time:

  1. Set an idea of a benchmark of expectations / what best is
  2. Make that definite and right and everything else wrong
  3. Create in the world the very thing it thinks it doesn’t want
  4. Judge self, regret, feel bad and/or judge others, wag fingers, demean
  5. Try and make ‘me’ better or make ‘that out there’ change — try harder, not good enough yet
  6. Repeat

But the idea of ‘me’ or of ‘that out there’ is, in that moment, merely a reflection of ‘this in here’ in that same moment.

Thought creates our world and then says “I didn’t do it”

~David Bohm

In truth, there is just what’s happening and then the conceptual mind layers on stories and judgements. It can only operate from these. It can only work in boxes and filing systems and grading scales of good-enoughness.

The great thing about this is it’s 100% reliable. Every time there’s resistance or judgement to ‘out there’ or towards ‘me’ it’s an opportunity to see the fixed rule the conceptual mind has created. In seeing this the rule starts to dissolve, returning us to the nuanced flow of life, and action is taken from there.

Writing this stopped me in my tracks.

If there’s just what’s happening, and if tension appeared when I noticed the ‘jumping on another’ scenario, intellectually there must be a conceptual mind judgement at play, but what was it? I decided to do a worksheet from Byron Katie’s The Work. The turnarounds at the end are the part where the mirror is held up to the —

I am being angry — yes, angry that it looks like she’s being mean to someone for speaking up.

She wasn’t being loving — the words on the reply could have been the most loving statement for the long term. It could have woken that person up to something. We could never know.

I wasn’t acknowledging her views or understanding where she was coming from before assuming she was ‘jumping on someone’ — the very action I thought she ‘should’ be taking, I wasn’t taking either. I jumped in too, defending the ‘victim’ before understanding.

Who would you be without that thought? — love, inclusion, understanding. This is what it always comes back to. This is who we are in our essence. This is the place we’re trying to get back to, just going about it all topsy-turvey. It starts in here. Every time.

So now what?

Where normally we look outwards for advice of the imagined right thing. This brings us inwards to our inner knowing of ‘right’ for this; now. Whatever looks obvious to do.

For me, right now, the seeing of my own internal war in that moment, which created a war ‘out there’, feels enough to have dissolved another layer of fixedness. Any other actions will emerge from that. I’m curious to see what does! Anything is possible.

Back to the conceptual mind

So if this conceptual mind creates rules that trip us up, makes us judgemental and limits our experience of life — how do we get rid of it?

Thankfully that’s not needed. Without the conceptual mind, we wouldn’t even have language — there wouldn’t be an experience of life.

Instead what’s available is to start to see the conceptual mind for what it is and return it to its rightful role as efficient organiser — not ruler of life. We’ve inadvertently promoted it beyond its capability and it’s trying to run the show without the tools to do the job.

The more times we see this, the more it stops jumping in with its ideas. The cart goes behind the horse again. From there, we increase the chance of experiencing the truth that, prior to ideas of good, bad or right, wrong there is a space — beyond concept — that holds multiple perspectives at once, the wholeness at our core, present to the present moment. From there we act more consciously, more lovingly, more inclusively. Maybe that would be useful for the world?

It’s this space that, after an argument, you drop into and get a broader perspective, you realise a way through the deadlock or an idea comes of something you could say that might bring a win-win.

This is who we really are. This is what we’re all looking for.

But in the over-promotion of the conceptual mind, our experience has become cluttered with boxes and filing systems, blocking our view of what’s already here, what’s innate and what is at the heart of everything.

We can clear out the boxes.

And, when we forget (which we all do) and we are momentarily led by the conceptual mind, we are still doing our best with the thinking that looks real to us in that moment. Now though, we notice it sooner, we bring compassion to it instead of judgement. We see that we’re lost — it’s nothing to do with this idea of me or them or that out there — and we give our lostness space to change and move. Dropping us back into the space before concepts. Actions, perfect for now, emerging.

Notice what you notice.

With love, Helen


Helen Amery
Helen Amery
Reconnecting you to innate brilliance for a more fulfilling life. Disillusionment happens when, things that we took to be true, start to look less so. People, belief systems, ways of working, societal norms. As these cracks, in reality, start to show we often look around to see what else is available to make sense of this, and these moments provide the opportunity for great change and the ability to step into a whole new and fresh experience of life. I work with disillusioned people who’ve worked hard all their lives to climb the career ladder, increase their income, who got the family and the house and the car and…then they look around and realise something’s still missing. They don’t feel more fulfilled. They don’t feel successful. They don’t feel secure. Sometimes these things have even become worse. My career has developed through commercial HR into psychology-based coaching, and now my work goes beyond psychology to the fundamental truths behind our human experience. This is the final shift in perspective that frees us from the imagined limitations we’ve gathered through life and reconnects us to our innate brilliance. It’s the direct path that other development can meander us to. From here we find fulfilment, security and a feeling of success – and we find we’re able to enjoy everything we already had, and new things, in an entirely fresh way. My business is called Wild Fig Solutions because the Wild Fig has the deepest roots in the world and I always cared about getting to the heart of what was going on. Now this work is really that as it reconnects us to our heart at the deepest level and naturally rebalances us so that we use the brilliance of our head in the way it works best. I work with clients online, in one-to-one and group coaching programmes, to help them reconnect to their innate brilliance. See my book here: Let’s Get Honest About: Work

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  1. Thanks, Helen.

    We’ve all heard – about forgiving our parents – “They did the best they could with what they had.”
    I heard a much better one about a year ago – “They couldn’t teach us anything they didn’t know.”
    Another favorite: “The mind is a wonderful servant and a terrible master.”

    We adopt programming when we’re formative. We learn how to protect ourselves from punishment by lying, or that being an adult means growing up hypocritical (“Do as I say, not as I do . . . “).

    We’re just tall children, and our responsibility as an adult includes correcting our thinking, our selves.

    Keep on keepin’ on.