[Classic post from 10-26-16]
More practical Spirituality, which I now realize is what I’ve been sharing all along.
Compassion. It’s a word that is bandied about with ease. And my understanding of the word is different than the definition in the dictionary that I just read: “a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.” That’s like saying, “I feel sorry for you and your affliction(s), here’s my ten-step method for curing your ills and releasing your suffering.” Silly.
Compassion to me is a grand word, filled with practical and powerful selfless love without any agenda on repair. What a radical difference.
I have to share this beautiful and insightful quote by one of my favorite old “new age” thinkers, Albert Einstein.
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. 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.”
I take issue with only one short phrase: “Our task must be to. . .” There really aren’t any rules, and any observant person of the world around us can see that not so many are accepting this task, regardless of the stature of the person suggesting it. No, it’s not a must. It’s a potential choice. I say potential because we can choose yes and we can choose to ignore it completely.
I have been on this journey of learning to make use of what Abraham, Esther Hicks calls the Art of Allowing. This art or activity is the essence of compassion to me. As I allow others to be what they choose for themselves, and as I don’t insist that they be a certain way on my behalf, I am loving them without condition. There is no better way to define the Art of Allowing to me.
I’ve been practicing for a long time, but it is only in the most recent years that I have taken off the training wheels so to speak. In releasing myself to practice my own version of compassion in the Art of Allowing, and in expressing and feeling unconditional love, I have come so much closer to the person I truly want to be inside and out.
I’m not 100%. Even so-called Saints have an ego that sometimes pretends to influence. There is no end to the journey as in reaching the destination, but there is greater and greater allowing, becoming, expanding. I would even say that in just the last year, there has been a substantial expansion in me. It is ongoing, and I am in love with the process.
So where’s the practicality in this? Let’s say you’re a salesperson, and do you suppose there would be value in loving your prospect that is in front of you, allowing them to be who they are as you do for yourself? As you are choosing love, the other cannot help but feel it in some way. This helps bring you together in purpose as co-creators of the event called the sale. I know a lot of salespeople look at the transaction with the prospect as overcoming objections, using manipulative words and phrases, with self-focused motives.
Let’s say you work on a team, and something comes up that isn’t your job and yet you have the opportunity to serve the team or not. What does love do? It serves. Easy choice from a certain perspective. These are just a couple of ways your Spirituality can be made practical.
What about homeless people? Criminals? Terrorists? Heads of State? The neighbor who refuses to take care of his lawn? The potholes in the streets? The flat tire you notice as you’re in a hurry to get to an appointment? The guy driving slow in front of you? Friday afternoon traffic? A mistake on your paycheck? A leaky roof? A power outage? Can you love them? Love those things and events? You can if you choose to. Some may be a bit easier than others, but all doable.
Whatever is going on in and around our lives, we always have and always will have the choice of our perspective on them. We can exercise compassion, love, acceptance, allowing, appreciation, or we can choose fear, disgust, hatred, violence, irritation. I have chosen them all and many more. I now practice my definition of compassion. In doing so, I am changed and have released myself from my own prison. The vision of that is like after a week of rain, the sun is shining in all its glory with the clearest deep blue sky, and that sweet smell of that change.
“One Man Practicing Kindness In The Wilderness Is Worth All The Temples This World Pulls.” — Jack Kerouac
Spread Some Joy Today–by turning your love light on high beam.