“Compassion is sometimes the fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else’s skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too.” – Frederick Buechner, American Clergyman, Author
I have a lot of unmanageable people in my life; meaning I love them even though I sometimes have no idea why they do the things they do, behave the way they behave, or even say the things they say. Honestly, sometimes I feel like I just love them anyway in spite of my higher thinking self, because I know in my heart that my motive in so doing is the revelation to me of the most authentic me.
Now before you start to worry that I’m some kind of beleaguered enabler, I want to state for the record that I arrived at a love them anyway response after much trial and error, coupled with a heavy dose of making a really strong effort to love myself first. And I do, I really really do; and that is the most awesome and precious gift I have ever been given, or perhaps I should say, had revealed to me.
It’s not a fierce or defensive love I have for myself, it’s really much more tender and dare I say, worn down than that. It’s as if the myriad of diverse and often adverse and challenging experiences of the last almost 50 years have worn down all of my jagged edges, allowing to emerge a much smoother and softer me.
I wear life much more loosely and invite the billowing, effervescent flow of swirly energy that comes from all of the daily interactions of my life to not only uphold and support me, but literally to inspire me to blossom open and expand limitlessly; transcending towards possibilities that a year ago, I could not even fathom.
I’m gentler, more trusting and have a lot more compassion for myself and for others. And these attitudes as peaceful as they are, also catapult, with their tenacious connection to my heart, into a happiness that knows no bounds.
I hope I’m pretty humble about it, and I believe I am, primarily because I’m not taking the whole damn thing for granted; using this compassionate care as just another notch on the bedpost, even more evidence of my own potential for self-beatification. I’m just trying to enjoy each and every day, and the good grace that enters into it.
I’m attempting to really see and feel how much I am given and how great my capacity is to use those gifts to help transform the lives of others. Maybe I can bring a little bit of gracious goodness to someone else in the same way that it is so abundantly and generously offered to me. Each and every day, if I choose to perceive it that way, and live in gratitude accordingly.
I really do believe it begins with me, the giving and the receiving as I experience it, and vice versa. I also understand and live this dynamic relationship as an everlasting concept; offered up by a Power greater than myself, in love with loving and love; freely and endlessly, endlessly and freely, over and over and over again, like being breathed, in loving trust……
So that, I can simply and compassionately live.