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Have you ever heard something negative about someone and you immediately conjure up a pretty involved story only to later discover that that’s all it was…………..a story!

And what about a story where this guy or girl is being unkind to you to say the least (I’m sure you can think of one or two either right now or in the past) and in your mind’s storybook you’ve cast as ‘the villain’. And you the victim. And the more you revisit this story the more villainous this character becomes and the more victimised you feel. Does this sound familiar at all?

I wanted to share my take on these encounters that I’ve had over the years where I’ve felt like the victim in the hope that it might help you. It was only when I started to look at these encounters from a perspective of understanding vulnerability first of myself and then others that I feel I really began to see.

I didn’t think my stories like I am a man, I am strong, I must look after the people around me, I must not show weakness were so ingrained in me. Where did I get that from? Why do I feel like I have to be strong all of the time? Why do I feel like I have to hide how I feel? And then I began to think how people deflect and try to camouflage their feelings of insecurity. Nobody likes to feel vulnerable, exposed or weak and if you don’t like feeling it you certainly won’t like showing it to others.

For me the weird thing is I know there is nothing wrong with showing vulnerability. I can rationalise that this is ok and yet when it comes right down to it I have a strong story telling me not to. Anyone that knows me will know that I am a very talkative person so I talk to anyone that will engage as I am thoroughly interested in as many different experiences other than my own that I can come into contact with.

Why am I telling you this? Because my greatest observation is that no matter what you are feeling right now pretty much every single human being on the face of this planet is feeling the exact same way to varying degrees at this very moment. No matter what it is. Trying to practice empathy more has led me to understand how vulnerable we all feel and how most of us don’t like to show this to anyone………..especially ourselves.

I’m going to gently introduce this idea of compassion at this point because to be perfectly honest I didn’t hear this word much growing up and my first real encounters with it were when I accidentally ended up on a journey of transformation when all I signed up for was a course to learn how to teach Yoga! And as for loving yourself? My only point of reference for a statement even remotely like this would have been when someone would describe someone else as ‘in love with him or herself’ in usually some sort of narcissistic way. The idea of loving myself was in truth completely alien to me.

Love and compassion does conquer all and is needed most where you least want to give it if someone is trying to hurt you or effect you in a negative way. When people attack and make remarks to put you down it’s not you it’s them! And it’s not because they are bad people. It’s because they are afraid. They too feel insecure and a lot more vulnerable than you feel right now and their way of hiding it is to try and make you feel the same.

So Lesson 1: Compassion starts with You.

Compassion starts with yourself. If you are compassionate with yourself you will allow you to love you! If you feel worthy of love people who are in a different place because of their individual journey will not be able to rock your sense of self worth.

And Lesson 2: Practice Compassion where it is needed most

And coming from a place of compassion when that someone tries to project their vulnerability and fear in the form of bullying, hostility, whatever that sense of compassion will allow you to understand that this human being feels just like you do and for whatever reason and whatever stories they have they feel much more scared and vulnerable right now than you do.

I’m sharing this as it definitely would have helped me hearing it after many situations where I have beat myself up, been knocked and seriously questioned what is wrong with me? I try to practice compassion and love towards myself and to others more and more as everyone really does have their own challenges and trying to understand that when someone shouts at you in a fit of road rage or tries to undermine you in work might just make that situation a little bit easier to bare.

Thanks for taking the time to read and until next time sending a healthy wholesome dose of love and compassion your way. Matt x



Author Matt

I started YogaHub out of a room at the back of someone else's house back in 2012 with nothing more than an idea. I'd been teaching Yoga since 2008 and had no intention of opening a Yoga Studio. I think, like everything I've done, I just decided one day I was going to give it a try. And try I did and if you're reading this I guess I'm still trying.

More posts by Matt

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Briege says:

    I read you article and cannot believe that I have been going through word for word and unknown to myself actually made up in my mind they were more to be pity and tried to think of ways making excuses for them, but still taking it home every day and dreading the unknown of the next day for this last couple of years, it has been brought to managers attention not through myself and it is going to be dealt with, it is such coincidence that I read this while on holiday and this has been my life for 6 years of bully’s and though at times I was to weak but on the other hand I was afraid to confront it

  • Matt says:

    Briege my heart truly goes out to you and thank you so much for sharing. I meet lots of people who arrive at the Yoga Studios for lots of different reasons and I can assure you you are far from alone. It happens all over the place. And I might add you are not weak just because you didn’t confront it. I hope you had a lovely break away. Look after yourself. Love, Matt 🙂