While sitting drinking my coffee this morning, waiting for the dishwater to cool so I could wash the dishes, I was wondering to myself what should I write for my next blog post… and well my mind started wandering as it so often does… often this can be a scary thing – because I could truly end up just about anywhere… and, well I started thinking about passion, and how it seems that so many people are seeking it. Who am I kidding? Everyone is seeking it. This I feel can be a good thing, it is good to find what we are passionate about enabling us to live a life that is full. This is something I want for my life. But then I started thinking how it seems so one sided and self orientated. Truly, to spend our lives finding what we love can involve excluding so many people, so many opportunities, because we are so focused on ourselves and the process of discovering who we are and doing the things that we want.
This is where my thought process shifted, because then I started thinking about a word that I do not hear so much in everyday talk. An important word, a word that when put to use and exercised can truly change the world. Compassion… and I realized that compassion is the key in our search for passion.
Passion is our obsession, the thing that excites us and fills us with enthusiasm. Compassion is defined as empathy. I think it is so much deeper than that. I think Compassion is to be obsessed with our love for others (this is not some strange kinky sex thing, this is about genuine concern and caring for other people).
You see our families, friends and loved ones are our ‘class room’ for learning compassion. It is pretty easy to have caring tendencies for those who are dear to our hearts. Showing genuine love and concern for those we love is easy for the most part; however they are also the ones who can cut us to the quick, and push all of our buttons – which is why they are our training ground for compassion and mercy. But it doesn’t mean a lot if we do not take our lessons and utilize them. We need to then step past our loved ones and reach out to our acquaintances. Those we know and perhaps care about, but they are not close, they are not loved ones. Again a training ground of people, where we can learn the skills of empathy and kindness. But the real challenge is to take it beyond, to the next level and shower compassion upon those we do not know, have never met, and beyond to the unlovely and unwanted of the world (if that is possible, how can any human being be truly cast aside and unwanted – the thought tears at my heart) – that is the true test, the battle ground we have trained for.
So we have an equation that is linear, but somewhere in the compassion equation we have missed an important step. The one that makes all of it possible and creates a circle, therefore completing the lesson… Compassion for ourselves.
I really think that we cannot truly give to others what we do not understand and have for ourselves. I believe that when we learn love, tenderness, forgiveness, and kindness for ourselves it becomes our nature and we can then have it flow from us to others. To all that we meet. Our training ground of loved ones is so essential because that is where we learn how to treat ourselves. (Children are the greatest training ground for this – they push us to our very limits, and the love does not stop, in fact it grows, and when we think we cannot possibly have more love in our hearts we find that somehow we do – this is how we need to learn to feel about ourselves). And I believe that when we begin to learn the lessons of compassion, when we learn how to love ourselves, and let it flow from us into our corner of the world, it is then that we begin to find what makes us truly alive, and our passions begin to reveal themselves…
Tenth Avenue North – Oh My Dear
I some how thought this song was fitting as it is about both compassion and forgiveness for those we love as well as self forgiveness, plus it is a beautiful song.