Don’t Do Anything That Isn’t Play!

The following paragraph is from the book cited below. If you haven’t read Marshall Rosenberg’s comments on “self compassion”,  go get this book.

Rosenberg, Marshall B.; Arun Gandhi (2010-12-06). Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life (Nonviolent Communication Guides) (pp. 135-136). PuddleDancer Press.

“In addition to the process of mourning and self-forgiveness, another aspect of self-compassion I emphasize is in the energy that’s behind whatever action we take. When I advise, “Don’t do anything that isn’t play!” some take me to be radical, even insane. I earnestly believe, however, that an important form of self-compassion is to make choices motivated purely by our desire to contribute to life rather than out of fear, guilt, shame, duty, or obligation. When we are conscious of the life-enriching purpose behind an action we take, when the sole energy that motivates us is simply to make life wonderful for others and ourselves, then even hard work has an element of play in it. Correspondingly, an otherwise joyful activity performed out of obligation, duty, fear, guilt, or shame will lose its joy and eventually engender resistance.

We want to take action out of the desire to contribute to life rather than out of fear, guilt, shame, or obligation.

About almondhead

I am a mental health counselor in private practice. One of the focuses of my practice is helping people with fear, anxiety and their ugly stepsister, depression. I became a counselor after a long career in the technology world, so naturally, I think of the brain as an engineering problem. It can help to understand something about how the brain works. I decided to start this blog as a way to help other people learn about fear, anxiety and relationship. (All our problems are really about relationships.) You can also find me at:
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