I think it was the Dalai Lama who said “Compassion is my religion.” It really resonated with me. I tried my best to follow it, in what I thought were trying times.
There was a co-worker who really tested my resolve on the path of compassion. This was an all-around unpleasant person – to me, to other co-workers, to the clients who came into the office. Often while wearing a false smile and speaking in an over-the-top sugary voice that just screamed condescension. But, in the end it was an excellent lesson. I came to see this person, not as pure evil – and I really, really wanted to paint them into that role! Rather, as a being in deep, never-ending pain. Physical, mental, emotional and spiritual pain ran so deep that lashing out was the only behavior this person had left.
It was sad really. I got to the point that I all could see was this person’s pain. I was very proud of myself for getting to that place. I thought – “Hey, this compassion thing is easy!” HA!
Here’s the thing. Don’t boast to the Universe. She will take you at your word and make you prove it.
I haven’t been around much. Here, posting my bloggy offerings, on Facebook, or Tweeting out to the Twittery peeps, I’ve been gone more than I’ve been around. I should’ve been though. I should’ve been all over cyberspace, sharing my love of all things paranormal and spiritual with my fellow fringe dwellers because I haven’t worked since February 29th. I had big plans to make my time off my big push to really get my blogs dialed in tight.
So instead… The Universe had other ideas.
Right before Christmas, my mom had a stroke. Not a bad one. She could still walk, talk and do all the things that were “normal” for a feisty 80 year-old. But she kept having them. Then other issues cropped up and by March 1 we were both having surgery. I got my shoulder fixed, and she got part of her guts taken out. Twice. Both of us.
And if that wasn’t enough, my siblings had not one, not two but three ICU stays and major back surgery shared between them.
The cherry on top, mom passed away the day of my sibling’s back surgery. Yeah. It’s been a fun year. I had more stress, more pain, more family fights than I had ever dealt with before. And that was just the beginning.
I wanted to say Fuck It! I think I did a couple times. No, no I’m sure I did. But again, the Universe had other plans. Each time I wanted to smack a sibling, or yell, or beg mom to get up and move, because otherwise she wasn’t going to get better, I heard a tiny voice inside me whispering.
“Let go. Let go of that anger. Just love them. That’s all they need. That’s all you need.”
Okay, sometimes I had to go cry, or take deep breaths, or meditate, or all three, but I did it. I let go of the anger. I focused on the love. I held onto that compassion. My previous experience with that co-worker made an excellent practice ground.
You know what? It feels amazing. It’s fantastic, freeing and so very blissful. I know it sounds so freakin’ New Age fluffy bunny but when you let go of anger and just hold onto love, magic happens.
There is a calm that comes over you when you view negative actions through the lens of compassion. So often we react to perceived insults, but is that what was really meant? The truth is, when you see the other person’s motivation is pain and grief, it opens your heart.
It’s not easy. But it is worth it. The Universe is very forgiving.
She’ll give you plenty of opportunities to practice, and reward you generously when you succeed. Baby steps are better than no steps. The real trick is, don’t beat yourself up when you lapse back into thinking “That rotten bitch!” Stop. Breathe. Center yourself and remember something about that person that made you smile. Then, smile. Even if it’s only for a second. You’ll be surprised at how good it feels.
Try it. You have absolutely nothing to lose and so very much to gain.