Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Significance of Compassion

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Yet again I have found myself ensconced in an awareness that has been coming to me frequently in the last several weeks and even months.  I have been appreciating how much compassion I have regularly attempted to extend to others and how relatively little I have extended to myself throughout my life as a whole.

This awareness descends upon me at the most unpredictable times.  And yet one common theme to all the instances in which I feel aware of this call for more compassion for myself is the occurrence of pain.  If I have been sitting for too long or doing something I find mentally or emotionally stultifying it seems more likely I will find myself suddenly reflecting on compassion.

I feel myself caught in a bit of a struggle right now due partly to the fact that it feels as if so many different concerns are vying for my attention at the same time.  And because I am emerging out of a period of significant difficulty (this summer when it seemed all I did was address a variety of health concerns) I sometimes wonder if my own thinking is distorted or at least so altered that I cannot trust myself to be seeing my broader reality in a fairly clear way.  Thus does it feel wise for me to be engaging in psychotherapy at this time.  And the therapy is helping from what I can see.  And yet I often feel confused as to how I should proceed forward.

There was an interesting concept presented at the men's conference I recently attended.  It was the idea of "right mistake".  I find it a curious concept partly because it seems to imply that there are actually no right choices that can be made.  Each choice we make automatically opens up a field of additional possibilities while simultaneously closing out another range of possibilities.  And yet no choice we ever make will guarantee that what follows will be easy or that we will always feel sure we have made the best choices we could possibly make.  We make choices and then live with the consequences.  And no person is capable of foreseeing all the possible consequences of any particular choice.  To have such foreknowledge would require a capacity I think only an all knowing deity could have.

I have tried throughout my life to be a good and honorable person.  I suppose that is partially why I have felt baffled, saddened and even betrayed by what I have experienced these last two years.  It seemed that despite my best intentions the consequences of many choices I have made have proven quite unsavory.  This time has definitely been one in which I could perceive it as an invitation to cultivate a greater compassion for myself.

I want to find my way out of the thicket of confusion I have felt myself to be in for too long.  I continue to pray for guidance and help.  I do sense a shift occurring.  I sense I will soon be embarking on another eventful ride!

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