“Some people think only intellect counts: knowing how to solve problems, knowing how to get by, knowing how to identify an advantage and seize it. But the functions of intellect are insufficient without courage, love, friendship, compassion and empathy.”
I once heard true compassion defined as a person doing something for another without being attached to the outcome of the situation. In other words, if you help someone, you don’t do it because you believe it will create a certain result for that person or yourself. This really is a novel idea. Most people do things for others because they believe certain changes will occur- a perspective we’ve grown accustomed to. Therefore, detaching ourselves from results is really difficult. For me, it is hard because I am results driven. That said, I still believe compassion is about connecting, not making something or someone change to fit our liking. Here’s an example: I pray for someone and I do it because I want and expect her to get well. What happens if she doesn’t get well? What if she dies instead? What then? True compassion is creating the atmosphere for what is best for the other person or situation to happen, not what we want or expect to transpire. Maybe she wanted to die…maybe it was her time to die. It’s not up to us to decide the outcome of anything. We don’t have that sort of control. I realized that our own desires for a certain outcome give permission for us to judge where another person or situation is. That we have to somehow effect change on this person or unfair thing that’s happening. Judgement attracts judgement. Not something I want more of in my life.
Another example is easily seen in people asking for advice or critique on a creative project. Do we give our opinions because we want them to see things our way, or do we do it simply to give freely of ourselves as integral parts of the universe? We’ve become such a competitive society that I wonder if it isn’t too late to change what’s been programmed into us for too long now. We want what benefits us…even if it’s not in a selfish way. It somehow benefits us if that woman we prayed for lives and is healed of her illness. It benefits us if that guy we gave advice to on Facebook adheres to our creative thoughts and ideas. It makes us feel useful and proud. But, think about it for a moment. Are we understanding others and where they are with compassion when we do these things?
Compassion is an emotion that is connected to pure human spirit and will. It’s not something we should consider lightly or throw around with every thing we do. Think of it as opportunity. Compassion is opportunity. Opportunity to show unconditional love and to share our pure souls with others. No expectations. No gimmicks. No set results. Just a gift. It’s like that bubble in the photo. We initiate it with action, it floats away with no real direction; It’s free to go where ever it pleases, to pop, or fly away into the heavens. No matter what it does, we find joy in creating it and watching it join this universe. Just think what we women could show the world with this kind of understanding of others and ourselves. If we could give of ourselves without expectations for the outcome concerning money, praise, recognition, success, friends, joy, satisfaction, gain, more referrals, followers, clients.
I challenge you to one day of disconnecting yourself from the end results of your acts of kindness, advice, critique, rules, prayer, meditation, lectures, and conversations. Can you do it? I’m going to try it. I suspect it won’t be easy but will be a time of self discovery for us all. Let us know what you think of this post and whether you do the challenge. I’m starting here: I have no attachment to the outcome of this post. Whether you think I’m crazy or a genius or anything in between doesn’t matter one bit to me. I love you and I give you this gift of thought- my idea. It’s yours to throw away or to use.