Living in Compassion
Albert Einstein observed that “Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
You choose whether you’re facing opportunities or challenges. You can create peace within yourself or you can war with yourself and those around you.
When you imagine from the heart, you become aware that everything begins with a single thought in your mind. You have the ability, on your own or in a community, to imagine and create.
You are in charge of how you respond and react. When you came into this world, you were wired and given gifts.
But over time, your conditioning and education may have taken you away from leading with your heart’s capacity for compassion, abundance, and connection. Being rooted in material existence, goals, and achievements became a way of life.
Tapping into Compassion
At this stage of the journey, tapping into compassion for all things becomes foundational.
As a child, you experienced life and did not judge because you had not been taught how to judge yet.
Imagine if you looked at our society now and saw people simply allowing self-compassion to navigate us to joy. Instead, today you will mostly see people judging and blaming ourselves and each other. While endlessly pursuing a state of fabricated happiness and success.
Getting to the root cause of our judgments is one way of healing, but it is somewhat difficult for many of us who have been conditioned to believe that our thoughts need to be right and are more important than anyone else’s.
No Longer Needing to be Right
And you may be caught up in a constant need to validate your position, because allowing any other thinking challenges you to the core.
In my case, I started to become more of an observer of what was happening around me and experienced the divisions, especially when someone wanted to prove me wrong.
At some point in our interaction, I would stop and agree with them. And what I experienced was their disbelief and need to continue to be right. But when I would say, “You’re right” and pause for a moment and then say, “Now what?” they had nothing to say. They lived for the thrill of the fight.
I don’t want to fight anymore. I envision healthy, new possibilities for communication opening up between people. When we no longer feel a need to win and crush someone else, we meet compassion.
I wanted to be healthy and clean out the toxicity of judging, blaming, and shaming around me. But it wasn’t just about the external world; I also looked at where I was judging myself harshly and keeping myself divided with beliefs that were planted deep inside of me as a child when I was taught to be a good girl.
I would find myself being incredibly self-critical, which always brought with it a sense of deep shame at being instructed that I was doing something wrong.
Until I understood where this shame lived inside of me, it held me captive in old, painful stories. I asked myself the same question when I was deep in self-judgment: Now what?
Excerpt from Expedition 19, F*ck the Bucket List for the Health Conscious (Book 3).
Stepping Out of Judgement and Into Compassion
When we choose to step out of being right or defending how wronged we have been by a person, system or situation, we make a conscious shift.
When trekking into the unknown, we don’t need to bring our old baggage and judgments with us when we have compassion.
Imagine, and may we are, starting a new venture, moving to a new location, leaving a job, starting a job or entering a new relationship or partnership.
Our inclination today is anchored in a knowing of the familiar and a need to feel in control. Fear is related to uncertainty and the unknown. Who doesn’t want to feel safe and secure is the mantra of our times?
Well, that’s the old story of suffering and judgement. Many project judgements to each one of these situations based on past experiences. We want to predict how things will turn out based on past stories.
Imagine that we are working with a new team of people and there is one person who reminds us of someone from our past who was sneaky. Often, we are quick to judge before really seeing the person in front of us.
And yes, until we understand ourselves, often the same hurtful personas enter our life with a different face and body, until we can breakthrough. Groundhog Day happens until we can release and practice being present in the unknown.
There is Another Way
Can we navigate an unknown situation and space―feeling into the opportunities instead of the problems with deep compassion? Can we have open and honest conversations without needing to defend ourselves?
With all the books, talks and workshops on being vulnerable, have we even scratched the surface of allowing ourselves to be?
Do we dare to step out of the manual of how life should be and fall in love with experimenting and experiencing life in our own beautiful way? And yes, this means failing at someone else’s story but not our own.
Often, when things don’t go the way we planned or expected, we spiral in disappointment and heartbreak.
No one teaches us that the job that didn’t work out, the friendship that broke apart, or the love that was not reciprocated was actually a gift.