Tag Archives: compassion

Haunted.

 

I don’t tend to live in the past, but I certainly feel influenced by it at times. Things that have happened to me or those that I love; events that were significant; losses through death or estrangement. It seems that a sting still lives in me around past circumstances that stirred up deep feelings of fear and loss in me.

 

When I was younger, I would acknowledge a loss, such as the death of a loved one, by honoring the anniversary, the year mark of the event itself. By observing it, it seemed to acknowledge the pain of the loss in a way that would bring me comfort, and some form of peace. I don’t recognize anniversaries in any formalized way anymore, but it feels like when a certain time of year comes around, I am taken back to a period of my life that was especially painful and difficult.

 

Three years ago, at this time, it seemed like many aspects of my life were crashing in on me. Relationships with members of my family were deeply strained; my son was in big emotional trouble; and two people that were very important persons in my life, died. I felt like I was in a tornado of emotions, and reeling from all of the chaos and sadness that I seemed to be experiencing. To this day, parts of that time still seem to haunt me, to feel sharp and real and like they just happened yesterday.

 

Then, I gratefully recall all that I was learning then, and have been learning in a more deep way since that time. I remember that the past, and any recollection that I have of it, is simply a memory trace. It does not exist, just as the future does not exist. So, for me to ruminate on events that are long past gone, or worry about how things will unfold at some future time, is futile. In addition to that, doing so does nothing for my Peace within. There is no rest for my soul when I keep reminding myself of things that have already occurred and cannot be undone. 

 

So, I remember compassion. I remember gentleness and love. I remember that to recall is only human; but to tell the story over and over again, in a way to condemn myself or others, or to act out a drama that I can suffer all over again, makes no sense, and is unkind. I remember to remember, without telling the story to myself. I remember to breathe. I remember that as real as it may feel now, it has already happened and is gone. It is as it is. 

 

I get to find my Peace, again and again. 

 

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What Do I Know?

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When I was a little girl, I wanted to grow up and be a social worker. Why? Because I saw the world as broken, and hurting, and I saw myself as the superhero who was going to fix it. To solve every problem, heal every wound. To change the world. To this day, it has created a belief within me that sees myself as the one with the right answers, and the one that is essential for a problem to be solved.

 

Additionally, by seeing the world as broken, and needing me to fix it, I have also developed the belief that had a certain talent with people, that I could tell if something was bothering someone, and even more than that, WHAT was bothering them. Sometimes, I would call that “gift” in myself being intuitive, or being empathic. And, I do know that those skills live within me, and I do sense things when I really trust myself. But, how I have most often crafted the stories of the problems of others that I weave into my mind, is by simply believing that I know what is going on with them. By the evidence that they show in their body language, the words that they use, or don’t, or emotions that they express. For most of my life, I have been thinking that I know, for certain, what is happening with them.

 

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And, to be fair to myself, sometimes, I have been right.  And, even though I appreciate being tuned into what others are going through, what I have enjoyed about being right is a way to pat myself on the back, to show my own arrogance of thinking how well that I know what the world needs, and how I am certainly the one that can fix it for them.  As I type the words, they sound ugly, and harsh. But, there is ugliness and harshness there, because all of those aspects live in me.  The arrogance, the self centeredness, the bold assuredness of being right, the feeling justified in taking a position or a side.  And, those aspects that are more difficult to look at sometimes live in all of us.

 

The deepest truth that I now understand, is that no matter what evidence I believe that I see to prove myself correct about someone, is that I can never, ever know what is going on with someone else. Even if they tell me. And, this includes myself as well. Although all of our thoughts can carry loaded stories along with them, and are always attached to some belief system we possess, we don’t even have to believe our own thoughts about ourselves. We don’t write the story for someone else, except in our heads. We embellish the stories in our heads with details that we feel certain are right, and then, have an ongoing battle within us based on our assumptions.
We can only ever know best what is going on with ourselves. That takes enough cleaning and clearing, for sure. I never have to take anyone else personally, and if I make assumptions, I am mostly likely going to be wrong, and I will be telling a story that does not include the other person, and only lives in my head. It is destructive and not loving.

 

I feel like coming to this realization again, in a really deep, profound way, is going to light the way for me to move forward with others, and circumstances, with Love, Light and Presence.

 

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Mine stinks, too.

I love that at this time of my life, over half of a century that I have been in this human form, I like to look at myself with deeper eyes. What I mean by that is, I enjoy looking at, and catching myself, at the ways in which I want to either build or maintain my own identity, or see myself as “different” than others. When I say “different”, I typically mean, better than. When I get to catch myself engaging in these subtle but powerful attitudes and behaviors, it is refreshing and relieving.

 

Yet, what I keep discovering, is that the more effective I get at catching myself, the more subtle and illicit the behaviors, ideas, and attitudes become. Because my ever present Ego still wants to exist, it is sneakier and sneakier at how it presents itself. For example, I can feel really good about catching my Ego at what it does, but then, when I become egoic about how much better I am at catching it than someone that I know, that is Ego doing what Eckhart Tolle calls “coming in through the back door”. I am still a human, and a physical body, and I still believe that I exist, just like every other person. And, just because I am in one place about it, and someone else is in a different place does not make me more anything, evolved or otherwise.

 

The best thing that I get to do for myself, and for the world, is to see my own behaviors without making a story around it. Without using it as yet another way to separate myself from others. No matter what loving word I call it- seeing myself in that way out of love, compassion, forgiveness, or self esteem- it is always a way to separate myself from others, and for me, all that does is discourage deeper connection. And, that is not what I want anymore. I want to deepen my connection with myself, and with others, without making it into my identity that then I get to feel good about. I just want to do it, and be present with that, and remember that all of the rest of it is the details of the story that I tell myself or someone else. And, I get to look at it in myself with eyes of love, not condemnation, guilt or judgment.

 

I get to see myself as human, and as a light being, and get to see that Universal aspect in all of us. 

 

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