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pic    The “old” compassion has turned out to be something I find difficult to “do.”  

The “old” compassion is when my heart is not able to handle the empathic feelings I get when I see a hurt animal, or pass a woman panhandling on a street corner.

The “new” compassion is simply not judging.  

I don’t want us to confuse “not judging” with not taking action when action is needed. And I don’t want us to think that by not judging, we are condoning.

The new compassion (as I understand it, and I am so open to different ideas on this) is being discerning, being smart, helping when we can, being encouraging to others - but not inventing 10,000 other stories and assumptions to go along with whatever it is we‘re doing.  

Example. I saw this on a Dr. Wayne Dyer program on PBS. Dr. D. gave some pocket money to a guy on the street. The guy felt good about it, Dr. D. felt good about it, and that was it. No other storylines or judgements came out of it.  

Here’s another example - this one’s mine because I’m so working on this issue within myself: I’m opposed to constructing an Islamic Center near Ground Zero in New York.  

Here's what I can  do:

    - write about it in a forum or op-ed page in an intelligent way

    - write to the mayor and voice my opinion (again, in an adult, courteous way)

    - join in any peaceful protests that might come up

    - donate money to some sort of legal fund, if there is one

    

Here's what I can't  do:

    - have opinions about people’s religious preferences

    - like or dislike people who agree or disagree with me

    - think about it all the time and make myself a nervous wreck who can’t sleep

    - complain about it all the time and make those around me nervous wrecks

That's what I mean by the "new" compassion. It's not harboring opinions and judgements in my head all the time; it's not letting my emotional reactions dominate my thinking. It's doing what I can do, and letting go of the internal hysteria.

One of my great loves is for animals. The other day Dr. Phil had a show on dog fighting, and I turned that TV off faster than you can say “dog.” I knew I couldn’t handle it. I knew if I watched it, or even thought about it, I’d end up in a puddle of tears in my bed.  

Instead of crying for the dogs (that would be the "old" compassion), I ran to the computer and worked on finding more cosmetics companies that don't use animal testing so I can add those companies to my site ( [Link Removed] ). Making myself useful instead of having a heart SO big I become totally useless.

Another thing Dr. Dyer said on this show (and it's in his book, "The Power of Intention") - you can't make yourself sick enough to heal anyone; you can't make yourself poor enough to provide money to someone else. i.e. In order to help heal others, we have to be healthy ourselves. In order to donate money to our causes or even start a non-profit of our own, we need to have money ourselves.  

So we have extreme compassion - but the “new” way to do that is to see the problem and act on it, while not allowing ourselves to play out storylines and fill our head with judgements and grudges.

I’m still working on it. Thoughts?


Suzann, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

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