A Lesson in Compassion
So, I find that every time I visit with my family, I am offered the most wonderful gifts in self growth. This has not always been the case as in the past I wasn’t open to receiving this gift. However, I now recognize the concept that EVERYTHING in our lives is an opportunity for us to grow and learn from, and this belief has become integrated into my system.
Recently, my sisters came from Colorado and New York (which is where I am from) to visit me at my place in LA. I am the “baby” of the family, with my sisters being seven and ten years older then I am.
By the third day of their visit, I started to realize how different we are but how this difference was never really an issue when we were growing up together, although of course we fought and loved each other a lot – LOL – as sisters do. Now, though, even being under the same roof for only three days, as adult women we were all getting on top of each other.
On the fourth day, when my oldest sister made yet another “joking” sarcastic comment to me, I confronted her because it did not feel good and these days I choose to refrain from interacting with people in that way. As a result of my not taking her comment personally, and addressing what works and doesn’t work for me, my sister opened her heart shared the following with me:
My sister felt like I have “deviated” from my “upbringing” (being raised Jewish in New York with the importance of education being paramount). How I moved 3,000 miles away and don’t really feel compelled to come “home” for the Jewish holidays; how I have never had a “corporate” job; how I “chose” to live with someone without a ring on my finger in my twenties (btw, I am now single and available! 😉
It was SOOOOO interesting for me to hear her tell me this, as it had never really crossed my mind how my life journey and personal life choices have affected some of my family members. I got the sense that my sister felt a bit abandoned by me, and “left out of my world” because she just doesn’t comprehend it. As she said, “I just don’t get that whole meditation and yoga thing…I like my spin class and Stairmaster.” To hear her give her point of view from a neutral place – to really hear how she felt without my feeling the need to defend myself, my choices, and my belief systems, etc. – was such a gift that I felt for the first time in a long while that I actually understood her, and we were having a really loving and intimate conversation. I felt such compassion and also felt so loved by her. I was reminded yet again how people just need to be heard – and what loving and healing power there is in that.
For me, my choices have actually felt quite freeing and liberating – to “break out of the box” and follow what feels right for me, which is to not “follow” any religion at all. If there were “the religion of love,” as Bob Marley states in his song “love is my religion,” well, that would be my choice. I was one who was never a follower and, to me, the corporate world represented that.
I realized that uncertainty is a concept that I have become comfortable with, as it opens up unlimited possibilities and a sense of adventure; a lack of what my sister deems “security,” which brings about a great feeling of anxiety in her.
From this time with my sisters, I was able to arrive at a place of non-judgment on a deeper level with what works for my sister. I feel she too arrived at an understanding that just because she doesn’t “get” my world doesn’t mean that it is to be invalidated.
In conclusion, I would like to share this with you: if you come across people who are not open to receiving your sharing and teaching, who may say to you “you are crazy to believe that,” or who may feel like you are “preaching or lecturing” them, it may just be that they are not in a place at that moment to receive and understand you, so their perception of your sharing is being received in a way that was not your intention at all.
I feel that when this occurs, the “ego” of a person steps forward and will negate what you have to say in order to not feel inadequate or – for lack of a better word – plain old stupid.
Understanding this, by personal experience yet again, has opened up my eyes even wider as to how beautiful and humbling this teaching is.
I invite you, if you choose to keep yourself humble, to practice compassion and understanding of where THEY are; to keep YOUR ego at bay so that a healing of the heart can occur as it did for me with my sister.
I once heard a phrase that if you are having an interaction with someone, you are in relationship with them. What better way to practice, grow and learn from the beauty of honoring the intimacy of relationships in all their various forms.
Keep your eye out for my blog on connecting to your sensual and sexual selves! Oo-la-la – that’s sure to ruffle some feathers…just as we like it!
[tags]compassion, sharing, understand, relationship, ego, healing[/tags]