It’s been a long time since I last put something up here. Much has passed, work and life demanded my full energy and attention.
In the past months and years the world has seen many shocking events. They got one thing in common. The response from my old self, my old I, were often fury, sadness, incomprehension, anger, fear. The response dearly needed to make a change was compassion. Or as another beautiful, rather old-fashioned word expresses it: mercy.
To have compassion with a little lamb limping, a beetle turned on its back, a hungry wee child or an elderly person with a walking stick is reasonably easy for most decent folks. But what if compassion is asked with someone or something that makes our blood boil ?
Compassion with the people that throw swan eggs including embryotic swans at the animal rights activist defending the swans. Compassion with people working in factory farms, unaware of how far their work is from what nature intended. Compassion with the people who ride on horseback underneath a dead strung up goose, in order to pull its head off. Compassion with people who respond in a gulf of bottled up festering anger and hate to others that have fled home in search for safety and peace. Compassion with those who laugh at you for asking them for compassion, calling you a treehugger. Compassion with the playground bullies. With the youth hanging out loitering in the neighbourhood. Compassion with people who harm other living beings and seem to have no problem with that. What made them become like this?
That’s compassion for advanced learners. Compassion 2.0. And it’s incredibly hard. As our old ego wants punishment, guilt, penance, justice, gratification. Our old self asks for an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Retribution. Revenge.
Our old self wants to see bloodshed and heads rolling. Our old self has forgotten how we have done and tried that all before and to no avail in the long run. “You can bomb the world to pieces, but you can’t bomb it into peace”.
But beware. Showing compassion does not equal covering the ugly with a cloak of love, smoothing over, justifying, making excuses. Those calling you a treehugger for asking for their compassion, belittle the power of compassion, putting you in the loony bin, like someone merrily stuffing their head in a bucket full of rainbow coloured sand in blissful ignorance, refusing to face the real problems. Showing compassion does not mean talking straight what is corrupted, but peel the layers of the corruped and help it get straight on its feet again.
So we need to look for a new paradigm. A paradigm of the old wise ones, the ones that said ‘your pain is my pain’. ‘And thus I tell thee, what you have done upon the least of my brothers, you have done upon me’. ‘Forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing’. The true meaning of this only sinks in once you are able to go past your own fury, your own fear, your own incomprehension and your own sorrow. If you look for that one core, hidden below layers of fear, anger, hurt, indoctrination, fury, you get to the soul, the core, that which comes from the same light. That one part, that has forgotten – just like you have – that all is one and one is all. Only than you can truly forgive. Only then you experience what it really means to show someone compassion. And the road there is a long, winding one, full of nooks and crannies, u-turns, stop-think-do-stopovers and face-palms.
Compassion is love. So if you share things that are wrong, don’t just share those wrongs, actively search for solutions. Walk the walk, talk the talk. Share your moments of wonder, so others can enjoy wonders to. Share your love, so others can experience that love. Embrace your imperfections. You are not holier than thou. You are allowed to fail, to trip, to be blatantly barking up the wrong tree. As long as you keep trying and do your best to succeed, walk on, be right a next time. Even if you don’t make it happen in just one day 😉
Four winds and Blessed Be