Compassion is a funny word. I know it means –sympathetic of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it – but I’ve been wondering about my personal application of compassion. For example, I feel tremendous compassion for every person who has been traumatically affected by hurricane Irma. Further, the loss of losing someone in such a catastrophe can never be imagined until your world comes to a complete stop. Everything is a blur. Rationally death is a part of life, but when it’s taken away it can change you.
I remember Mary. Her son died by taking his life. He had tried several times before the actual event. Finally, the day came that Mary had been dreading most; it was the call that her son was dead. Death can be especially hard if you know someone who doesn’t want to be here.
Mary walked numbly out of her marriage. She felt, somehow, responsible. She knew she shouldn’t, but she did anyway. Mary reached out for help, but she wouldn’t allow herself to be free of that fact that her son took his own life. So, she drank.
Perhaps it was only a little wine in the beginning, but it became an obsession. Worse, while under the influence, unimaginable things would be said and done. One time, Mary woke up to find that someone had started a fire in her car and that it had burnt to the ground. She was furious and wouldn’t hear that it was she that had lit the fire.
I know Mary never put it together that she was in fact unconsciously reenacting out her own son’s death. You see, her son killed himself inside his car, but he also created a back-up plan to make sure that his car started on fire afterward. I know Mary would have done anything, and I mean anything, to stop her son’s attempts to take his life. I know, because we formally talked about it.
Mary’s compassion for her son was so great that she wanted with all her being to alleviate his misery. When her son was alive, she didn’t know what to do. Mary, without a doubt, was a compassionate soul. So much so, that she too took her own life.
Mary was very frustrated that she was drinking because intellectually she was a genius. During a personal session, Mary shouted her IQ at me and then quietly asked, “How can I be so smart and also so stupid?” Naturally, I shared that her intelligence had nothing to do with what she was processing. I knew she was trying to make sense of her need to drink.
Our sessions were irregular, for obvious reasons, until she didn’t reach out any more. I knew where Mary was headed long before her final day. There was a time she’d gotten clean and she seemed to be finding her way, but I intuitively knew that it was only temporary like her other attempts had been. It’s really really hard to watch someone you love….die.
Let’s put this in perspective; Mary wasn’t my sister, or a relative of any kind, but she was my friend. Mary played music for us, and maybe you too, at several of our Sedona Retreats. I cried when I learned how she died, as I still do typing this sentence. I can’t help it. I loved Mary.
Like Mary, in behalf of her son, I too have wondered if I offered her enough love to keep her in the game. I tried. I really tried. But Mary and her son were not destined to stay. I’m choosing to share all this for only one reason, and that’s because I know you are a compassionate soul.
To really be compassionate I’ve been thinking we must also consider being compassionate with ourselves. This is what I meant when I said in the beginning, that I am wondering about my personal application of compassion. I’ve never found it hard to be compassionate in behalf of others. Perhaps, like you, sometimes I’ve needed to stop trying to alleviate the pain that someone else is creating.
Finding the right balance in compassion and understanding outwardly isn’t hard when we connect with the other person’s Higher Self. When we connect at this level, we can get true information. Often conflicting messages arise with what someone may say versus their Higher Self. That’s why I would encourage you to pay special attention to what the other person’s Higher Self is accurately communicating.
We’ve covered all this ground to discuss you being compassionate with yourself. To make it a little easier to understand, I’m going to add the word love. When you compassionately love yourself it creates an opening on many levels. Mary’s lack of compassion for herself actually cost her her life.
In Mary’s case, she was so absorbed in trying to alleviate the suffering that she saw and empathically felt within her son, that she ignored her own mind and body. In my experience in being compassionate with myself, I can see that I don’t connect with myself in the same way that I offer compassion outwardly. This is out-of-balance. I have determined to change that.
I know for me, that I’ve needed to practice. Much of the time, I’ve noticed an extreme harshness and even judgment of myself. This isn’t what I expected to see but it’s happened more than enough to call it an undesired pattern.
Compassion, true compassion for your self, isn’t necessarily alleviating the pain. This may seem to contradict the definition, but clearly as you’re born here you can’t avoid it. Let me suggest that you don’t. Instead, open your self to be lovingly compassionate about your experiences or choices.
You read that correctly, I’m suggesting that you embrace your choices compassionately. Think of yourself walking down the middle of both polarities of; trying to avoid the hurt and feeling the pain. In practicing this one simple step you’ll actually feel different. Your compassion for yourself will grow as well as it will expand your compassion for loving others.
On a very similar topic, you may have interest in my YouTube “Secrets of Self Love You Can’t Learn from Friends and Family.” (Coming soon!)