It's that thing that makes it impossible for me to watch reality TV and laugh at people or think, "I am so much better off than they are." I'm not. I often say that the longer I'm sober, the less I know. And what I mean by that is, I am no one to judge anybody else. COMPASSION is the Thing I Love this Thursday.
It's not my right to tell others how to be sober, how to parent, how to get pregnant, how to eat, how to dress, how to live or how to die. I have opinions, I have moments where I am outraged, but it's not my place to put that on other people. I struggle with this. I don't eat animals, but I don't put that on other people. Ever. And I demand the same in return from people. Or we have problems.
I tend to wonder, "how would I react if someone said, did, thought this to or about me?" before I act. If the answer is not kindly, I try not to do it. This is new behavior for me, just in the last few years. And it takes a lot of practice.
Compassion to me means letting people live their lives and not criticising them for that. People I meet in real life, on the Internet or just see on TV or read about. It needs to happen everywhere for me. And the miracle really is, that it's happening. I feel it. I feel that compassion even if I don't necessarily understand what this person's life is like or what their choices are about. Compassion is not agreement. It is not condoning or even accepting the person's choices and behaviors. It is simply having the grace and the moment of, THIS IS HOW IT IS FOR THIS PERSON AND MAYBE THEY DON'T KNOW ANY BETTER. Maybe they are having a really hard time and weren't always like this. We all can understand that, right?
I find myself CRINGING at pictures on the Internet that just make fun of people. That somehow say, look at how stupid this person is compared to me. To us. That's bullshit. That is when I unlike people and pages.
If you were to see pictures of me when I was out of my mind on booze, hell even some pictures of me today when I have on a skirt that is too short or my underwear CLEARLY shows through my clothes, you might think you are better than me. That's your prerogative, sure, but I can't live that way any longer. It feels too damn good to have compassion.
Laughing or criticising the misfortune of others is a lowly lowly sport. I don't have any tolerance for that. If you are reading my blog and you are not an addict or alcoholic or a SUPPORTER of us changing our lives, you can leave right now. I'm taking a stand. If you want to give me a hard time for not eating animals, goodbye. We don't have to all agree on everything, but we need to respect each other.
COMPASSION is something that I had to learn. It didn't come naturally to me. I had compassion for people who were JUST LIKE ME. But that was it. Growing up in a suburb where everyone was just like us made me oblivious to "others". Then I became "other". And it's the best thing that ever happened to me.
Now, I'm developing this compassion for everyone. Even if I am completely different from them, it doesn't make them bad and me good. Compassion is hardest when you need to show it for people you absolutely don't understand or couldn't possibly relate to. That's the test. Sometimes I pass and sometimes I fail. I am working on it. I want to teach my kids this compassion. For all. Not just some. Not just those we deem worthy. We are all worthy. I want my kids to be shown compassion and to show compassion. That's something I need to lead by example in doing every day. All the time.
COMPASSION is not always easy. It's not natural for me. But it's getting to be more and more so the more I practice. Biting my tongue in some cases and jumping into other cases is how I'm learning we can all do better and be better for ALL OF US. We all exist together. We just do. We can make it more difficult or we can make it more loving. Today I choose more loving and more COMPASSION. What do you choose?