Things are lovely…repeat as necessary.

writing my heart out about living from our hearts

Busting Out Forgiveness Clears a Path to Compassion

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I will be in various stages of vacation with Brigit and my folks from August 9 thru 20.  During that time, I will be in and out of the cellular and wifi world, mostly out of it.  What I have to offer for this time are excerpts from my journal.  They are posted in random order, not cleaned up too much and exist in varying stages of relevance to my actual situation.  I chose them because they contain interesting kernels I might flesh out later.  Please feel free to carry on the conversation without me and I’ll check in when I can.  From the heart, Shannon.

For an introverted person, compassion can be a scary idea.  As one who lives a good portion of my life inside my head, I have the quiet time to think about how much compassion is needed in the world, but can also see that it will probably involve my reaching out and initiating contact.  With people.  Compassion can level the walls of safety I put around myself and show me just how big my little communities are.  Compassion shows all the colors around ume, not just the comforting neighborhood pastels,  People live lives of glaring brights and dark contrasts and shades so muted as to barely be seen.  Some of these folks are absolute strangers, some that need my compassion are smack in our families or circle of friends.

In the overwhelming presence of need, where can I start?  I find that I can’t move forward at all until I begin with myself.  By the time my head wraps itself around the need to reach out, my social construct monkeys have been shouting at me that I am a bad person if I don’t, or that it’s too little too late.  I have to bust out the forgiveness.  Those monkeys hate it when I forgive myself and they clear a path for me to act.  Then, I am usually called to forgive others.  Unforgiven, every snipe, every shove, every perceived dirty look is poison to my soul.  Rather that duke it out (more poison) I just whisper to myself, I forgive you.  That covers both the one who offended and me, for taking offense in the first place.

This is my kindness yoga.  These are the baby steps that no matter how challenging to my ego, are easy for me to handle.  This opens me and strengthens me for the bigger acts of compassion.  I can give of my time, talk to the stranger, pray for the difficult, because I have first practiced compassion on myself.

I’d love to hear from introverts and extroverts alike your feelings on forgiveness and compassion.  Thanks for being here.


Written by Shannon Udell

August 10, 2010 at 5:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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