A Path to Knowledge - University of Victoria
Gillian Cornwall c. 2013
What does it mean to be compassionate? The Oxford definition tells us this:
Adjective: "Feeling or showing sympathy and concern for others."
I quite like this Huffington Post, The Third Metric article, 8 Ways to Tell if You're a Truly Compassionate Person.
In particular, what I am thinking about today is, how do we become or remain compassionate in the face of disappointment or hurt? ...and, even as I type this, I remember my lessons from Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements:
- Be impeccable with your words
- Don't take anything personally
- Don't make assumptions
- Do your best.
In this, I have my answer to the question above. We are emotionally hurt when we take the actions of others personally and when we make assumptions with respect to the intent of another. Oh, I know, so much easier said than done, right? ...but, that is where it gets interesting because all we can do is:
- Be impeccable with our words and
- Do our best.
Consider, when you first feel hurt by the actions of another:
- Where is this person on their own path to awareness and enlightenment?
- Would this person intentionally hurt me?
- Am I able to not make assumptions and ask them about the things which have caused me hurt?
- What do I need to do for myself in order to create a healthy path towards my own well-being and the well-being of the world that will act as a counter-balance to violent behaviour or behaviour lacking compassion?
When we go to, and stay in, our initial feelings of hurt, we perpetuate a path that ultimately lacks resolution and relinquishes personal power:
"Why is Bob so inconsiderate? Why would he do this to me?"
We concede our power in these statements and assume that Bob set out to do us harm. Certainly, this may be the case, but can Bob actually do us harm if we do not accept his actions as such? Why would Bob do this to us? Almost every time I have investigated and excavated this question, I have come to the same root:
Those of you who have read my blog before are probably fed up to the teeth with this one:
Everything we do as humans is motivated by either love or fear.
Let us do our best to choose love in our actions: Love for each other and love for ourselves.
Thank you to everyone in my life that I have encountered on my daily path in Victoria, BC and around the world, through the gift of inter-connectivity and social media, for teaching me and giving me room to learn these lessons. Thank you for not holding me to a standard of perfection that I do not even understand. Thank you for your love. Thank you for your compassion. I will try to honour your love and teachings by the path I walk and the legacy I hope to leave in the hearts of my fellow beings.
Wishing you each a beautiful and peaceful week.
Please remember, if someone is hurting you and you do feel stuck and alone, there are people and resources to help. These are a few:
In the moment: Call Emergency Services. In North America, call: 911 Please check the number in your part of the world and commit it to memory. Get out of the immediate environment in which the hurt is happening and seek safety and asylum.
Take Action / Follow up: Seek services to help keep you safe and set you on a happier, safer path:
These are just a very few and I am not affiliated with these providers. Even if all is well in your world, take some time to familiarize yourself with resources in your area and online in order to be ready to help yourself or another should you ever find yourself in that position. Also, many organizations lack regular, base funding and can use whatever resources you can help provide. Its all part of the life compassionate.
Please feel free to add your local organizations in the comments portion of the blog to help others.
-Gillian Cornwall, c May 31, 2015
Balance and Peace
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2013