This morning, I reflect on the notion of compassion and love.
In a fleeting encounter with a stranger this morning, a man walks through a door without holding it open for me. My immediate reaction…one of anger, hurt & pain.
Straightaway I’m alert to this reaction of mine, asking why my ego was hurt? How did it surface so quickly in such a seemly insignificant moment? How else I could choose to feel?
And then the question hits me…..…where is my compassion?
I know I’m capable of compassion, I’ve felt it before, it’s part of my make up. So, then I ask myself the question again…where is my compassion for my fellow human? One who I do not know, has not intentionally wronged me, has not spoken ill of me, not harmed me nor even consciously aware of his actions towards me.
The example I outline here may seem insignificant at first glance, however the principle behind the outcome has remained the same in seemingly more intense circumstances.
Have you noticed this same reaction during an episode of road rage? or times when your view is harshly challenged, or shunned from a group / person or conversation? All of these instances which again may seem insignificant has often left a big imprint on my day / week or even month. Almost like a flame which burns out of control, wreaking havoc on everything around…sound familiar? I know this rings true with me.
Amongst all these thoughts in my space, suddenly it dawns on me the realisation that the compassion is closer to me than I thought. The compassion that we crave to feel with the benefit of hindsight after those trigger moments…resides within us all and is only a whisker away from revealing itself.
Just as a thin layer of grass sits on top of the depths of the earths soil, or like a thin coat of oil rises to the top of a body of water…so too is the ego’s lovingly protective nature sat at the surface of our being. Once we become open & aware of this, are we able to perhaps sweep it aside and explore what lies beneath.
It’s often said, human being’s deeper purpose is to make a difference in the world in whatever scale or form. So then I ask, without absolute compassion…how would we begin to take the first step towards this purpose?
Perhaps our purpose is to “simply be” in order for make a difference?
Perhaps “simply being” means to express our true self to the world as much as possible?
Perhaps “true self” means…compassion?
Perhaps what lies beneath…..is worth the journey to explore.
"Just as a giant tree can fall away onto the earths nurturing soil for re-growth, so too can our ego’s surrender itself into the depths of our compassion." (A.Lakhani)
I invite you to take a moment here to ask yourself a series of questions which I know will help:
…when have I felt a sense of deep love and compassion before?
…where was i? what was I doing? Who was I with?
…where in my body did I feel it?
…what mental images comes up when I felt compassion?
…what sensation does this have on your physical body?
…do you feel a sense of lightness or openness?
…how relaxed or tense were you in that moment?
…what was your entire outlook on life in that moment of compassion?
Imagine for a moment if we could “tap into” that feeling like it was a commodity stored in a glass jar on demand?
Imagine how different each interaction could be if we chose it to be that way?
Imagine how our troubles / stress’s & strains of everyday life could dissolve away with just one splash of compassion?
Imagine how differently we would see people / circumstances / situations that happen around us happening for us and not too us?
Imagine the sense of connection & purpose that would fill every interaction we have…being nothing but happy for what others around us are doing rather than us making everything about us?
Imagine the feeling of lightness & freedom that comes with this approach?
Imagine….that all of this I’ve mentioned above…is already within you…
….what lies beneath?