A Dash of Compassion

By Cathy H - 12:23 AM

After dealing with an unfortunate situation which wasn't a big deal to begin with, but had somehow affected me very deeply.,I want to remember a concept I had learned from Buddhism. That is to practice "compassion" in the face of those people that have let you down, that have wronged or disrespected you. I suddenly remembered this saying "we all share a common ground. First, we all want to be happy. Second, we do no not want to suffer." Emphasizing common grounds with those that have upset you helps to reveal a perspective from a different side. That in the moment of anger and frustration, you see that person as inherently 100% bad, when it is your own narrow-minded thinking. I was very surprised to find myself being so resentful of someone that I was very convinced had come at me with no good intentions, to confuse and disrespect me and waste my time. After thinking about my own responsibility in a given situation, there is always a moment of realization in knowing that in every event- you always had a part to contribute to it. Maybe I was living in my head too much, holding too much expectations, making random assumptions, seeking fulfillment etc. It doesn't matter. What matters is having compassion for those that have let you down. 

It certainly is one of the hardest things, because our human ego is programmed to make someone "wrong" so we feel righteous and superior above others. But, I want to think of our common ground now. I want to understand them and wish them well. I believe and understand that everyone is having their own battles, maybe insecurities, maybe a big obstacle. No one is 100% satisfied with life at any given moment. Everyone has their own demons. And those that have upset me, I refuse to personalize that in that, they purposely want to harm me. I really believe everyone is somewhat decent. Whatever happiness I gave to someone, I hope it made their day brighter and made living a little easier even if for a day.  Instead of thinking about myself, I understand what this "compassion" is about. Everyone has some good qualities to give. It is tiring to personalize pain and I know I have a tendency to do that. But thinking about these teachings gave me a new perspective. We are all in this world, for some reason, floating in the middle of space, acknowledging our inevitable mortality, struggling to come to terms with a lot of things.  So, I believe if we all came from a place of compassion- it makes it a little easier on ourselves and others. It is a long process but I want to reach the point where my negative reactivity is no longer prevalent to the point where I am suffering. Instead, to just remain in the middle and come from a place of compassionate understanding for everyone that wrongs me.

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