Posted on 17th November 2020 at 14:07
I’m sitting in my writing space...
actually, that’s a fib, I’m nestled in my duvet – my mind has woken up, as it often does, with a creative pursuit. Obviously last night was an explosion of trying to negotiate the term compassion – ironic being that the word compass is right there. And yet I feel so lost.
We have become a little lost, haven’t we? And that can feel terrifying. Political confusion, world separation that began with refugees fleeing and now has led to Britain severing itself from Europe. Narcissistic men ruling two of the world’s most influential countries, our earth – our poor earth trying too hard to breathe and gulping down the space for the 3 months we allowed ourselves to pause – and only because our life was on the line.
It is no wonder we are returning to very basic forms of animal survival. In our primitive emotional bodies, we awaken the cave men and women, who used clubs and sharp stones to end difficult situations. We awaken the great world conquerors who ravished difference – swallowing it whole before shitting out what was not desirable. We awaken the desire for survival before we have learnt how to safely use our compass within this confusion.
My gut has been burning for 4 days. I have paused for my yearly sabbatical – a welcome break is calling me, yet my body cannot rest. I am in turmoil within, without the welcome rhythm of work – I turn to the world of social media and spill out my beliefs within conversation threads.
My latest conquest is the situation regarding masks – I am (apparently according to my internal ego) the new queen of fighting the good fight for those of us unable to wear masks. I start gently and politely – asking that our voices be heard behind the invisible hands we are being silenced with – and it’s not long before the gas that is causing my painful gut, erupts and I am in my cave woman roar – needing somehow to batter the voice of anyone that disagrees with me...
And then I hear a word that begins deep in the well of my neck.......
In 1965, Burt Bacharach and Hal David asked us to remember the world needed some love, and you’ll find many references to this within the self-development and healing communities. Self-love, is a desired for experience and the goddess of drag “RuPaul” (you bet I’m a fan), quotes “if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else”.
Yet love is an experience we discover between two people that have, or yearn to have an attachment. I love my children, it is a physical reaction which means I will look after them. I love my husband, we are still together after 26 years, I love my friends and family – we have regular contact and our love means we invest in time with each other.
I cannot love the man in the shop who just yelled at my hidden disability badge, nor Trump – I’m afraid I cannot love him. I have nothing in common with these people and each word they utter drives me more into a hateful place. But hate is not the opposite of love, it is on the same page, hate secures an attachment and bond just as securely as love. I can just as easily fill hours of my time recounting the tale of the man in the shop as I can reminiscing about my niece.
Compassion includes the word compass, and I have begun to love that knowledge. We are an era of people plunged into turmoil, our life circumstances mean we are plagued with difficult dynamics – on board our safety ships, we send out our best lookout crew to stand upon our utmost mask and spot anyone who might threaten our already troubled hull.
Here comes a “Brexiteer”, “a non-mask wearer”, “a rioter”, “an anti Vaxxer”.
The call goes up and all our efforts are put into place to steer our ship safely away from, or destroy the threat of difference.
And whilst we steer ourselves away from our perceived imminent danger, we forget our compass that was telling us to stay north – away from the ice bergs which will sink us.
Compassion does not ask you to have a relationship to someone else. It does not ask you to down tools and give all of who you are to the other. Compassion does not ask you to deny your own truth or stop your own course of action.
Compassion asks you one simple, yet in truth quite profound request; acknowledge that we each have our own agenda based on our own journey.
Hatred sits upon my mast, and demands that I send out cannon balls towards the looming danger in the dark. Hatred wails loudly from the heights and taps derogatory remarks on Facebook. Hatred demands much investment and time in convincing everyone that I am “much righter than you”.
Compassion sits peacefully at the front of the ship, and sees the danger in the dark whilst trusting her truth. She knows that I and the danger can be two ships that pass with respect.
Fear is the child that needs to be held within the lap of compassion, and never placed at the feet of raging hatred.
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