meaningofstrife

Seeing the best in life's challenges

Challenges 1-2-3

on July 19, 2012

The three days of challenge came and went (yikes, I sure hope that’s it….).  Anyway, I’ve gotten much food for thought over the past three days.

Day One was all about relationships – specifically about Healing Relationships that are strained.  That will be a post in and of itself, maybe a few.

Day Two was about watching situations that are difficult to watch but that you really can do nothing about.

Day Three was about the temptation to get involved in situations that are not yours.

There is a ton of overlap in all of this.  For me, these days represented a summary of lessons I have learned and practiced.  At this point I am very comfortable that I have learned my lessons well to this point.

But here’s the thing:  it’s still hard.  And the hard part manifests itself in the feeling/conclusion that I am going to call Sad, Compassionate Acceptance.

I fully accept that things are as they are.  I’m OK with it.  I am no longer angry, or frustrated, or worried about how things are.   They just are.  I even believe, as you probably have gathered, that situations have purpose, and that purpose is for the greater good.

(Of course, it’s really more complicated than that.  Everything is paradox and conundrum if you go deep enough.)

When bad stuff happens, when there is tension and anger and bitterness, when there is hopelessness and expectations of the worst, it is just plain sad.  There is no sugar-coating a lot of what exists in the world today.  Sometimes life just sucks.

And that’s where the compassion comes in.

Compassion has been called the purest form of Love.

Compassion is different, and much bigger, than sympathy.

Compassion can’t be taught, it must be discovered through experience.

Compassion is gained through practice; it is a process, not easy to define.

Becoming compassionate is a worthy goal.

I don’t mean to say that compassionate people just sit back and do nothing.  But even God, supposedly the ultimately compassionate Source of all love, allows human beings to have free will, to make mistakes and learn from experiences.  Another paradox to wrestle with.

Ideas about compassion and what it is are all over the place.

Compassion is the keen awareness of the interdependence of all things. –Thomas Merton

Compassion is the ultimate and most meaningful embodiment of emotional maturity. It is through compassion that a person achieves the highest peak and deepest reach in his or her search for self-fulfillment. –Arthur Jersild

Compassion is not sentiment but is making justice and doing works of mercy. Compassion is not a moral commandment but a flow and overflow of the fullest human and divine energies. –Matthew Fox

The whole purpose of religion is to facilitate love and compassion, patience, tolerance, humility, forgiveness. –H.H. the Dalai Lama

You cannot cultivate compassion. When you are desireless, compassion happens; your whole energy moves into compassion. And this movement is very different. Desire has a motivation in it, a goal; compassion is non-motivated, there is no goal to it, it is simply overflowing energy. – Osho

This word “compassion” is composed of passion. To be compassionate means to be in love. Compassion is just a dimension of love. Passion is hasty, hectic, a little violent. Compassion is gentle, nice, understanding — but it is passion after all.—Osho

And so, the process continues.  Experiencing, thinking, (hopefully) learning, distilling it all into wisdom.  Becoming compassion.  At least, that’s what I’m trying to do.

 


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