Compassionate Understanding

Sometimes the enormity of this world and our life’s journey can be lost on us.  Many times I pass people on the street, at the store, in a parking lot, or where ever I may be and often wonder what they are thinking.  Some of these people have smiles on their faces, some have scowls, and some are expressionless.  And, even so, it is still hard to know what they could be thinking.  Did they have a good day?  A great day?  A terrible day?  The worst?  Are they feeling love, joy, happy, sad, desperate, desolate or hopeless?  AND, how did I react to them, if we crossed paths?

When dealing with these people, we sometimes get frustrated because they are nasty to us.  But do we ever stop to think that they may be going through something pretty darned heavy?  When we were younger, we didn’t even think about their world…just ours.  We’d get angry that someone treated us disrespectfully, and we took it personally.  We tend to stay stuck in our own little world and forget there is a vastness FAR beyond our space and our journey.  When we get a little older, and have gone through a bit more of our own “stuff,” we still tend to be a bit frustrated, but we are less likely to take it personally.  And, we are starting to realize just how big the world is and how many people there are going through their own “stuff.”  We find we can identify with them a little bit.

A friend of mine lost her twenty-something daughter yesterday to tragic circumstances.  She is feeling despair, pain and anguish.  After I heard the news, I moved through my day and realized everyone I encountered had something going on in his or her life, good or bad.  It dawned on me yesterday that you have no idea about the circumstances of the people you pass on your journey.  How many of these people have an ill loved one?  Just lost a loved one?  Are out of money, about to get kicked out of their homes, or are just lost, and looking for answers?  Better still, how many of these people realize they are not alone?  How many of these people understand there are others going through something similar?  And even more eye opening, how many of these people realize they don’t have to go through it alone?

I implore you not to judge people by how they act toward you.  Yes, I do know how hard that is to do…but, offer them a smile anyway…tell them to have a good day, anyway.  You never know what a simple smile and a few positive words can do.  And, above all, just say a little pray for them…offer up some of your good energy…they don’t even have to know about it.  In fact, doesn’t the Bible tell us not to judge and not to make a spectacle of what we do?  How hard is it to just give someone a friendly smile and say some encouraging words in private for someone who may be suffering?  In that instant, what better do you have to do, anyway?  We are all linked and the positive thing you do for someone else will revisit you.  In being encouraging to someone else, you are, in fact, encouraging yourself!  Think about it!

New Years Introspection

I have often wondered why so many people love the ritual of making a New Years Resolution when they seldom, if ever, keep them.  Don’t worry, as I could never keep them, either, and stopped making them a long time ago.  This year, however, the idea of doing a sort of introspection instead of resolution popped into my mind.  Simply put, find out what does and doesn’t suit me, what I like or don’t, what I need to “make over” and what I don’t, and maybe this will help me make some changes.

Taking an inventory of what you do and don’t care for takes all sorts of honesty.  Why?  Because, in all honesty, we have become so settled in our way of thinking, we don’t pay attention to how we truly feel!   We are so comfortable with “the way things are,” we’d rather just continue down this path of fake tranquility, hoping that, at some point or the “right time,” things will change.

The truth of the matter is that we need to be proactive in our own lives.  If something doesn’t suit us, we need to do it differently.  If we don’t like something, we need to put the effort forth to change it.  If something needs to be made new, we need to be willing to make it over.  And yet, we aren’t…oh, and don’t worry, I am talking as much to myself as I am to anyone reading this.

There is much to like about “comfort” and much to fear about the unknown.   At least with comfort, we know what we are getting…even if it doesn’t make us happy.   With the unknown, we have no clue what might happen.  Could be good, or it could turn out bad…but if the comfortable is already unsatisfying, why wouldn’t we venture out into the unknown?  That new territory could hold such potential!  It could bring us everything we have ever desired…and maybe more…but only if we are willing to cross into the unfamiliar.

So, this year, instead of making a list of resolutions that have little chance of getting crossed off that list, why not do some personal exploration?  Observe what is going on within your own life and make an accounting of things that make you happy and things that don’t.  And, don’t rush the process…take your time.  Truthfully evaluate each thing you find.  Can you do something about it?  Can you change it?   Maybe there are other questions to consider…If we could really approach things candidly, what would we find out about what makes us happy and what doesn’t?  If we took the time to learn, would we possess the courage to pursue our happiness?  If the going got hard, would we be willing to stick it out?  If that proved to be intolerable, as well, would we be willing to make another venture forth into the unknown?  After all, that really IS all what matters.  Our own willingness to change our own lives…our willingness to go after what makes us truly happy…think about it!

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Disclaimer:

By suggesting reading and alternative therapies, we are not attempting to diagnose or treat any illness. Our suggestions are merely that, based on personal experience and research and should, in no way, be a substitute for medical advice.