Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Free to be...Part Two

Oh hi! You came back!

My last post was something. If you haven't read it yet I will just say that this post will make much more sense if ya do.

Basically to summarize I recently realized that I need a little compassion in my life, compassion for others in my heart... manifested in actions and words.

I consider myself an OK person... sometimes a pretty decent human. Giving my time and things, sometimes an ear to people brings me joy. What I realized the other day was that though I love to give, I have not always been a great example as far compassion goes.

How can I expect people (including my children) to have compassion for me if I have little or none to give?

I think that having learned humor and sarcasm to deflect pain and to cope has a lot to do with that. Not to go back into it but yes, my childhood kinda sucked. I survived with laughter. My younger brother Ben and I made each other laugh.

A lot. By doing some really dorky things.

I believe that when one is broken down and is focusing on a singular thing such as survival... It can in some cases make you a feral animal. There's a smile on my face but if you look closer you realized that I am actually baring my teeth with sarcastic humor. It's not a smile at all.

The other day I decided I needed to be more compassionate in the midst of praying in the shower. Instead of asking for less pain or a miracle healing, I thanked Him for what I do have. In gratitude, with an open heart the truth was laid bare. Maybe I needed that gratitude, that softened heart to receive this message... and in this way I am choosing to learn from this experience.

I actually prayed to be more compassionate that day. I show love and care for the people I am closest to, sure. Heaven forbid you be a stranger and your bad day affects me, though. YOWZA. My husband has been known to leave my vicinity when things get ugly and I have and angry outburst because someone almost runs my kid over with their cart, or cuts in front of me in line.

Anger and sarcastic humor is a language all on it's own. I told my husband I only speak 2 languages, and English is the other. Compassion is not a language that is native to me. I understand a few words and phrases that might amount to the basics like "Where is the bathroom" or "My shoes are blue"... and probably all the curse words.

Compassion is devoid of sarcasm. They cannot really exist in the same space without causing a time/space paradox. ;) See? I cannot even talk about compassion right now without being sarcastic. Admitting you have a problem is the first step, right?

I believe that you can love someone at a core level, you know it in every fiber of your being. Showing compassion is something else entirely. Compassion is not reserved for just the ones we love, either. I read blog post at Kind Over Matter recently (cannot remember the title) where she chanted a mantra in the face of adversity, "I don't know what you're going through".

And amazingly a link to Kind Over Matter was delivered to my inbox. Coincidence? I don't think so. It said:

Self-absorption in all its forms kills empathy, let alone compassion. When we focus on ourselves, our world contracts as our problems and preoccupations loom large. But when we focus on others, our world expands. Our own problems drift to the periphery of the mind and so seem smaller, and we increase our capacity for connection -- or compassionate action.

Daniel Goleman

Compassion through repetition, grace through practice.

It's a good place to start.

While learning this new language, I might slip up... fall short... chip a tooth. The possibilities are endless. It's all new to me, being mindfully compassionate instead of  a little compassion by way giving. I apologize in advance if I sound like this, I'll do better next time... I promise.
Enjoy :)


Michael C said...

You are an amazing writer!!!!!!!!!

Mary said...

Thank you Michael, I take that as a great compliment because you are a magnificent writer in your own rite!