Category: Compassion

Spread Some Joy Today > Compassion

Living A Half-Full Attitude Toward Fullness

“The reason things 
always work out for the best, 
is because this is actually 
the highest of all spiritual laws. 
Any apparent exceptions 
are simply evidence 
that the work is still in progress.” 
— The Universe, 
aka, Mike Dooley 

[Classic post from 4-8-16]

As with so many things that we allow to be, the message above from Notes From the Universe came at a perfect time with the perfect message for me today.

So much of life is attitude and perspective. The glass can be half full or it can be half empty and both would be correct; however, they feel very different, and each perspective leads to a different result. And, though I feel that I was brought up by my parents in a half-empty mindset, I have endeavored throughout my adult life to have that half-full attitude of my life and to live it and teach it.

One could say that the half-empty mentality is living in and moving toward lack, while the half-full mind would be in appreciation of what is already here on their way toward abundance. And so it is with all of us in how we choose to view our daily lives and activities. 

But, what if the highest spiritual law–that law that God insists we have owned from birth–is true? Then the second part of Mike’s quote above is indeed the glass half full attitude. “Any apparent exceptions. . . ” Aren’t there always exceptions? I think there are always exceptions, and it is how we see, think, and thereby feel about those exceptions that determine all for us. “Any apparent exceptions, are simply evidence, that work is still in progress.” Amen to that! It’s on its way! I asked and I received and now it is in progress! How cool is that!

It is such a powerful tool toward happiness to develop and practice the attitude that things are always working out. It is one of the perfect affirmations to state many times throughout the day, “Everything is always working out for me!” Or, “Everything is always working out for our company!” Or, “Everything is always working out in our world!”

This one is going on my wall this morning.

As I Remember To Remember This Perspective And Attitude, I Am Renewed And Regenerated. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by seeing your glass half full and glowing.

Allowing The Best Within Us To Shine

“To belittle, you have to be little.” 
— Kahlil Gibran 

Here’s To Being The Best That Is In Us And Helping Those Who Desire To Come Along. 

Spread Some Joy Today–Think LOVE.

The Difference Between Compassion And Sympathy

“We only have what we give.” 
— Isabel Allende 

[Classic post from 6-15-16]

I had a thought and wrote it down the other day to contemplate it further. Here's what I wrote: What's the difference between compassion and feeling sorry for someone?

Etymologically speaking, there is little difference. Com-passion is to be with or be together in pain and suffering. The original use of passion was in reference to the suffering of Christ at the time of the crucifixion, hence the name of that massively popular Mel Gibson movie. Much later it was used to describe sexual desire, and later still, in the number one slot on, it is, “any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate.”

Then compassion, in the way I've come to understand it, and I have a large amount of company, is to love another unconditionally in their current situation. It's no longer about having pity for them, as in feeling sorry for them, or sorrow for them, and it is certainly not about feeling their pain or suffering directly as in sympathy. It is more like recognizing the other, seeing that they are perhaps in a situation that is not the best for them while holding them up as in prayer for their healing and well-being.

So then, feeling sorry for someone is to have pity on them and compassion is to pour love on them. Other than thought and feeling, either of these may contain action or activity; however, I would want only to receive that action that is accompanied by compassion.

The Dalai Lama XIV said it well: “A truly compassionate attitude toward others does not change even if they behave negatively or hurt you.”

I think that a feeling sorry attitude wouldn't care in the least.

“There Is No Exercise Better For The Heart Than Reaching Down And Lifting People Up.” — John Holmes 

Spread Some Joy Today–by carrying compassion with you in your heart.

To Be Christlike Is To Love Unconditionally

is like taking poison, 
and waiting 
for the other person to die.” 
— Malachy McCourt 

[Classic post from 6-7-16]

I'm guessing that the Bible has been interpreted in so many different ways as to be whatever anyone wants it to be or to say. It is also probably the most quoted book in all of history. As well, there are many facets of religions that surround and attach themselves to parts of the Bible. In addition, the Bible has been used in healing and as a weapon, as it also has brought people together, and held them apart. As well, it continues to be those things today.

I was thinking about Christianity in general, and Christians specifically, partly from some reading of late, and mostly from personal interaction and experience in the same time frame.

It is said that a Christian is a follower of Jesus of Nazareth, termed The Christ, and known with the combined first name and the job description (Messiah or Christ) as Jesus Christ. And from my limited church training, I was to understand that to be a Christian is to be a follower of Christ (Jesus) and that the ultimate objective in this is to be as “Christ-like” as possible. In other words, to become as Jesus taught–to become like Him.

In all my studies of the Bible and countless other things, it has been my interpretation that to be Christlike is to love unconditionally. To love our enemies, to love our brothers and sisters, to love our neighbors, to love the less fortunate, to love ourselves. When I think of Jesus, I think LOVE. To me, He is the embodiment of that which is love, and not just any kind of love, but agape love, or what I term as unconditional love. To love in spite of. To love in lieu of. To allow others to be as they choose for themselves, without any insistence that they satisfy me.

It's a high goal. It's challenging. We might think it is more challenging today with all that is going on in our instant communication world, but I think it has always been challenging. It requires a choice–to choose to allow, to love, and to forgo ourselves, and by forgoing ourselves, I don't mean to be selfless, because that often takes away loving ourselves. What I mean by forgoing ourselves is the last line in the last paragraph: To allow others to choose for themselves, without any insistence that they satisfy us. That IS unconditional love.

So, when I see or hear of Christians, and especially those who have claimed that for a long time, or leaders in their church, who are resentful and angry at other people, tearing down the other's buildings so theirs can be the tallest and so much more, I wonder what their definition of being a Christian is. And, of course, this doesn't just apply to Christians, but all people really.

To see brothers and sisters at odds with one another because of something as simple and yet so powerful as a thought. And when that thought is thought often enough, it becomes a belief. As it becomes a belief, it guides our actions, as all of that determines our character. It is sad to see the separation of people in this way, but it is their choices that I honor, whatever they may be.

If I could be even the tiniest influence to those that I touch, it would be my ultimate objective, passion, and desire to remind people of the depth, joy, and reverence of unconditional love. And, that to be Christlike is to be that, live that, spread that, and grow that love–practice that. Because, I really do think that when it all comes down to the basic foundation of all of life, it is love that is the energy that runs the entire show, and as we line up with the vibration of that energy, we thrive, and as we are out of harmony with it. . . well, that is the rest, isn't it? Or maybe the word is unrest. 

If Jesus Is Love, If God Is Love, Then We Are Love. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by being willing to practice allowing the joy within you to touch others today, and every day.

Every Voice Has An Audience

“It doesn't matter 
how many times a story has been told. 
As each and every person is unique, 
each and every person 
 has their own stories. 
Each voice is important 
 and valuable as any other.” 
— Albert K. Strong 

[Classic post from 6-3-16]

So much of what I read and study is repetitive in some ways. I might listen to or read several authors on the same subject and each with their own point of view. And what amazed me again about this was hearing another voice that reminded me that each of us has stories. Each of us is unique. Each of us is of value.

Sometimes we might think to ourselves that it has all been said before, and we might even add that it has been said by smarter people than I, but that takes us off the point. The point is that each story is valuable. Each point of view is unique, and each is worthy of sharing if we have a mind to.

I was just recently introduced to Rob Bell. I first saw him on the Super Soul Session by Oprah Winfrey just a few weeks ago. I went and watched his video talk again and enjoyed it as much as the first time. So I bought his latest audiobook, and then another. As I was listening to this first one, which is his latest book, titled, How To Be Here, I was amazed at how different his expression of his ideas was. It is unique to him. I'm so glad that I found his thoughts and voice because much of it resonates within me, thereby making it valuable to me.

I could say, “well, Eckhart Tolle said it all about being present in more than one book, and in several recorded talks,” but that isn't true. Rob Bell added much to it. How many perspectives are there on the subject of being present? How many people are there on the planet? That is how many there are. Sure, some may say the same things with a different voice, and yet others will add something more, taking us on a different journey.

I find that I love to hear many different perspectives on a subject that I am interested in. It fills out my knowledge. I love it when the way someone says a thing resonates within me. I think, “Yeah! I agree,” or “Wow! How cool was that! I never thought of it that way. It makes perfect sense.”

I buy a lot of books and audiobooks. Most of them I finish, but probably 25% of them I only get a little way into it, and then decide I've heard or read enough. That's okay. Though I was taught as a kid to eat everything on my plate, thereby having a “happy plate,” I make up my own mind now. Even so, the part that I did read or listen to was enough. I got all I needed.

It's also interesting to me how I never heard of someone who has been writing books, speaking, and teaching for over 30 years, and then I find them. Heck, maybe they found me! The world is full of people I've never heard of that are going to make a big difference in me as soon as we are introduced. I love the excitement and anticipation about that.

Every Voice Has An Audience. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by stopping for a few moments here and there to just enjoy the view. It doesn't take much.

Love Is Always The Perfect Choice

“You are defined 
by who you love, 
not who loves you.” 

[Classic post from 5-27-16]

Another way to say this is, we are defined by what we give, not what we get. I like how Alan Cohen puts it: “The more you align with your values, the more people and things you value will align around you.”

Perhaps another way to say it is that when we are giving, when we are loving, when we are allowing, we need not be the least concerned about what comes back to us in quantity or quality. And, I am sure that whatever quantity and quality it is will be more than enough.

Can someone be loved but not loving? Certainly. They could stay in that unloving state for their entire lives if they wanted to, but that doesn't change the fact that they can be loved.

And that's where it is. It is in our loving of the other, regardless of anything, that says who we really are. I suppose you'd have to say that the opposite is true too; however, I would have to add that this is the way they are choosing to be, but not the way they really are. When we get down to who we really are, there is nothing but love.

Love Is Always The Perfect Choice

Spread Some Joy Today–by choosing to let the real you out for a while.

Agape Love Is Unconditional Love

“Agape doesn’t love somebody 
because they are worthy. 
Agape makes them worthy 
by the strength and power of its love. 
Agape doesn’t love somebody 
because they’re beautiful. 
Agape loves in such a way 
that it makes them beautiful.” 
— Rob Bell 

[Classic post from 5-22-16]

Agape love is the love of God of us according to the Greek definition used in the Bible. It is the very definition of unconditional love. The Holy Spirit according to my understanding is that invisible entity that is quite real, and when we allow ourselves to be open to it and be touched by it, we are changed forevermore by its unconditional loving touch softening our heart and mind to be more loving and compassionate toward ourselves, as well as toward others. Yet once touched, we may still choose otherwise because we have free will to do so.

Mark Nepo has a line that I had to write down that to me speaks of the love that is most common, and the agape love that is a challenge to hold on to. He said, “the strong live in the storm without worshiping the storm.” I’ll let that settle in because it is a very powerful phrase in my mind.

Love is one of the most interesting words in any language because it has so many different contextual meanings. Thousands of movies play with it. We hear it and see it all around us, and yet, almost none of that is agape or unconditional love. That is because the vast majority of the love in the world is very much conditional.

It is conditional on millions of rules, beliefs, memories, and future projections. It is the kind of love that feels great when things are going well when passion is in force when kindness prevails. Think of it as good times love. As long as the times are good, there is love, and when the times are bad, it’s everyone for themselves.

Conditional love says that as long as you meet or come very close to my expectations, or match my worldview, I can be open to love you. I am willing to be more vulnerable in loving you. . . until. When that is would be anyone’s guess. It could last years, or months, or days. You could easily conclude that it is a temporary love. I give you my love for a while and we’ll just see how it goes. I feel your love for me and it feels great and I want it to last forever, but I know deep down it can never last.

Do something that pisses me off, and my love for you is no longer flowing. It is now subject to review. You are now on probation. Make it up to me in the right way, and we can get back into the flow. Maybe. It all depends on the depth of the cut. Some cuts never heal.

Maybe I do something I’m not particularly proud of but I got carried away in the momentary flow of that thing, and now you’ve found out and no longer love me. I’m deeply hurt and miss you terribly and wish only for your forgiveness and understanding. I didn’t mean to hurt you. I was careless for a moment. I am human. I want to make it up to you. Let me make it up to you. I’ll be better. I can change. I can be lovable again.

Well, I’m sure you get the drift here. Love as we know it in the world, or as Mark Nepo says, “in the storm,” is the way love is in general. We may have learned it from our family, or our peers, or the movies, or high school, but we learned it. It is almost inescapable. But, “the strong live in the storm without worshiping the storm.” The world can be as it will, to choose as it will, and it may be very similar to the idea of a storm all around us, yet we are one child of God who can be strong enough, brave enough, open enough, to choose to love without conditions, rules, beliefs. We can choose to think otherwise.

As we are connected (and we are all and always connected) to our Inner Being, or God within, our Christ Consciousness, or whatever label you enjoy using, we can plug into the unconditional love that is God’s love for us, and we can share that same unconditional love for others. We can feel its fullness and express that same love. The more we are a vibrational match to our Inner Being–the more in alignment we are with that higher power within, the more we can sense this magical, marvelous, and miraculous thing called agape.

Just imagine for a time what it would be like if love around the world was truly unconditional. No rules. No hurts. No blame. No failures. Just love with a peace that defies understanding. We get to choose. We get to choose when.

I Have Begun. I Am In Practice. Join Me If You Desire To Do So. So Far, It Is A Most Enlightening And Inspiring Journey. 

Spread Some Joy Today–Agape love.

Sacrifice And Love

“Whenever you feel compelled 
to put others first 
at the expense of yourself, 
you are denying your own reality, 
your own identity.” 
— David Stafford 

[Classic post from 5-6-16]

This idea of sacrificing self for another is strangely interesting. Richelle Mead in Bloodlines says, as Eddie, “I want her to be happy. It's worth sacrificing myself.” Oh, and here's a good one: Jodi Picoult in Handle With Care, said, “Doing the right thing for someone else occasionally means doing something that feels wrong to you.” Then there is the perfect lover from Kris Vallotton: “You can sacrifice and not love. But you cannot love and not sacrifice.” And, I end the selfless quotes with this idealistic bit by Honore de Balzac from Pere Goriot: “Some day you will find out that there is far more happiness in another's happiness than in your own.”

This whole idea of selfless sacrifice by living a life of pain in hopes of the promised land in the afterlife is about as strange as it gets, let alone marching through the valley of death toward the mirage we think will save us. Silliness all. In my opinion, of course. I've already shown a number of opinions that disagree with me.

So, I have one question: What about me? What about you? What about us? Not really three questions, just one in three perspectives, all of which are we. What about our own happiness? Do we not count? Or should we wait for the person or persons who will sacrifice themselves for us and save us? Hmmm. Might be a while.

Getting closer to my point, I state that we are, at the very least, as important as anyone else. And, when it comes to love, or loving others, what about loving ourselves? Even Jesus said to love others as we love ourselves. You know, put your oxygen mask on first, and then help the one next to you–even when they are the closest of family. We count. We matter. It's important to be careful with the whole idea of sacrifice and how far we might go in thinking sacrifice so closely relates how much we love because loving others more than we love ourselves is not a good thing; albeit, it sounds very altruistic.

I was briefly talking with a friend yesterday about a situation that could very easily be upsetting, causing anger, frustration, and more. I laughed and told him that I just don't swim upstream hardly ever anymore. My happiness and feeling good is the most important thing to me now. I love feeling good. I love being happy. So I quickly move away from things, people, situations that will encourage otherwise.

Sometimes it is important to help others, perhaps even putting some of our desires in a temporary holding pattern, yet if we don't pay attention to how we are feeling and find it important to find ways to feel good, the help will be of somewhat less value to the receiver, and very detrimental to ourselves. Love is not sacrifice and sacrifice is not love. Love is much bigger than this. I can love people unconditionally, and not want to be around them because I allow them to be as they choose to be without any insistence that they satisfy me; however, it is my own responsibility to love myself enough to care for myself and my own happiness of which I am equally entitled.

Love Begins Within And Emanates From There. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by loving yourself enough to choose your own happiness, joy, and peace.

Happy Mother’s Day

“In every given moment we have 
a divine spiritual assignment in front of us: 
Choose love or choose fear.” 
— Gabrielle Bernstein 

Image description: Mom, my new little sister, and me in 1951, South Gate CA 

[Classic post from 5-8-16]

Happy Mothers Day to all mothers. I was thinking about my mother this morning. She passed five years ago at 80, and I am certain that she has found her joy. As I was thinking about her and my childhood and then seeing the quote above from Gabrielle Bernstein, I thought, this is what I would have loved to have learned from her. Instead, I learned it much later from others.

In looking back, I can see how my mother and father chose fear so much more often than love, and I learned it that way also as a result of their example. How much better would it have been to have them know what they were actually doing, and making conscious choices based on the simplest of ideas that in every moment, we will either choose love or fear. This teaching is from a Course in Miracles and is taught right at the beginning of that huge work. And, then, throughout the work in hundreds of ways that most basic idea is expressed again and again, and again.

Indeed, in every moment of our lives, every thought we have, every action we take, every view that comes into our eyes–in every single moment, we have the opportunity to choose love or fear. Add to that, the teachings of Abraham by Esther Hicks, in how we can know which we are choosing–is in how it feels to us. Each feels a certain way. We might correctly imagine that love would feel good, and fear would not feel good. And, since it is impossible to pay close attention to the 60-80,000 thoughts we have each and every day, it is easy in comparison to pay attention to how we feel.

As an example, someone did something or said something or wrote something that doesn’t feel good to me. I am choosing fear thoughts. It doesn’t matter if it is right or wrong, or even if they actually did or didn’t because we can imagine it with equal clarity. But, by paying attention to how that feels, we know what we are choosing.

Gabrielle teaches a bit more: “I am willing to see things differently. I am willing to see love.” The course even takes this further in lesson 21 of the workbook for students, by saying, “I am determined to see things differently.”

What a different life I would have lived had this simple teaching been the foundation of my learning. In every moment I have the choice to choose love or fear. In every moment, I have the option of seeing things differently than they appear. In every moment, deep within me, I have the ultimate power to direct my thoughts by paying attention to how I am feeling, well knowing how love feels and how fear feels.

In every relationship, personal or professional, this teaching would have caused better relationships, more fulfilling, and more expansive.

Yet, I celebrate my mother for doing what she knew how to do, learning and teaching that which she chose to learn and teach. She did nothing wrong. All her choices were what she chose. In my unconditional love of her then and now, I see no fault. Instead, I celebrate her life as having been lived within her choice framework. I am what I am, partially a result of some of those choices, and those choices more often than not encouraged me to choose differently. And I have.

I wonder how it would have been had I learned these simple truths from her, but no matter–I have learned them, and now I teach them as well. It all goes around. It all has worked out perfectly. It’s all good.

Thanks, Mom! Happy Mother’s Day. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by accepting your own joy. There is an unending supply within.

All Have The Same Capacity To Love

“Begin to see yourself 
as a soul with a body 
rather than a body with a soul.” 
— Wayne Dyer 

[Classic post from 1-11-16]

One of the best ways to think of unconditional love is that everyone is loved the same.

I was thinking today about how we revere certain people and how we despise others. That brought me to this thought development:

No man or woman is greater than any other. 
At the same time, no man or woman is less than any other.
Although, every man and woman is different than all others. 

So consider all those revered in history or current affairs, such as, world leaders, inventors, movie stars, rock ‘n roll idols, financial tycoons, and so much more. Consider that though they are important and valued, they are no better than you or me or the bum on the street, or the poorest of the poor in some country. It’s hard to consider because we are so used to judgment. We were taught it at an early age and have used it constantly throughout our lives.

Wayne Dyer says it nicely when he said, “When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.” 

Now consider all those who are reviled in history, along with current affairs, such as despots, terrorists, dictators, murderers, traitors, and so much more. Consider that though they are not important and not valued, they are truly no less than you or me, or the best of the best receiving the highest awards. It’s so hard to seriously consider this because of how we have come to make judgments that define how we see people.

However, if we can suspend judgment just for a little while, we might be able to find a way to accept both opposites by using an alternative method. That method is seeing that they are different than us and then accepting them by using our magic wand called unconditional love.

We cannot help being different. We would not be individuals if we were not different from one another, so accepting this fact is not too hard. Suspending judgment is. Yet until we can suspend judgment of those being better than or less than us, we are not making use of unconditional love. 

What if we are all here on a journey we chose before we came here? What if our Source or God really does love each of us and all things unconditionally? I believe that this is true and from that place of unconditional love, there are not good and bad, better or worse, there only is, and all are loved the same. I also believe that love and especially unconditional love is the single most powerful force in the entire Universe.

We All Have The Same Potential To Love Unconditionally. Because We Are Different, Some Choose Yes, And Some Choose No. I Celebrate The Differential Act Of Choice. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by considering what brings you joy, then hooking up.

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