As I mature my appreciation for this virtue expands. When I was a young man, compassion meant that I felt sad for people and their circumstances. My sadness motivated me to want to make “it better” for those individuals. In my humanity, I somehow believed that if I could make “it better” for those individuals, then I could make “it better” for me. My motivation was pure, but my intentions were misplaced. My desire to help others kept me busy, as I sought to fix myself.
To make matters more confusing, I became involved with groups and organizations that encouraged and fostered my displaced intentions. Sympathy replaced empathy and empowerment acquiesced to enabling. Enabling perpetuated irresponsibility and sympathy reinforced a victim mentality in many of the individuals that I sought to help. My need to “fix” these individuals precluded my ability to show compassion towards myself. Empowerment and creative expression remained dormant under these conditions.
As I matured in my process, I have learned several valuable lessons. I can not “fix” anyone, but I can show them empathy. Empathy motivates me to provide solutions for living life on life’s terms. Practical solutions provide the conditions and the support that promotes empowerment in my life and the lives of the people that I love — which means you.
When I made the decision to treat myself with compassion, I began to accept myself. As I began to accept myself, I started having spiritual awakenings. These spiritual awakenings provided the foundation upon which I am being empowered each day. Some of these awakening have been, I can not be something that I am not today. Through my dedication to excellence, not perfection, I am empowered. Through being empowered, I avoid believing I am a victim of my circumstances.
Because I am not a victim of my circumstances, I am able to celebrate in my learning process. Compassion gives me the dignity to learn from my experiences. Compassion also reminds me that my journey is a process and not a destination. Compassion allows me to accept others for who they are today without trying to change them. Compassion helps me to practice such principles as live and let live, easy does it, and mind your own business.
As I treat myself with compassion, I am able to trust the God of my understanding. As I trust the God of my understanding, I am able to let go of outcomes. As I let go of outcomes, I am truly free.
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