I’m surprised that through meditation practice I’m beginning to see the largest picture of things happening around me. It reminds me of the teaching this month, “Mindfulness helps us get better at seeing the difference between what’s happening & the stories we tell ourselves.”
When someone tells me something, my compassionate self gets into their shoes. From there, you can really see what motivates them.
A series of comments from a coworker about other people’s relationships and compatibility — it’s obvious she’s struggling personally. A lot of people think, “Oh she’s got relationship issues again.” But it’s actually not a problem between her and her romantic partner of several years. She’s having problems with her friends, friends who don’t respect her choices, in men or anything else, friends who haven’t been supportive. Instead of inviting myself into her problems, psychoanalyzing her, offering her unbidden advice, trying to force her to face what I think is her suffering, I just listen and offer support. It’s obvious that’s what she needs the most. An ear, a shoulder, someone who hears her and validates her.
I’m no superhero. Definitely not. I’m just like her, and she’s just like me. Compassion means seeing myself in her. Compassion makes me feel more connected to others, and isn’t that the highest truth — that we are all one?
And the more I practice compassion, the more it shows up in my life. I feel compassion for people who have wronged me. People who, presumably, don’t like me very much. I respect them and send them loving kindness. I’m sure if they were here screaming in my face it would be difficult to stay in that peaceful place, but from a healthy distance compassion is really flowering in my life.