“We can talk about courage and love and compassion until we sound like a greeting card store, but unless we’re willing to have an honest conversation about what gets in the way of putting these into practice in our daily lives, we will never change. Never, ever.”
Courage, love, and compassion…those things are timeless right? We all do them all the time…right? After all ..some of us are Christians…or Buddhists…or just really really nice folks. So of course we are full of courage, love, and compassion. RIGHT?
What does an honest conversation about what gets in the way of courage, love, and compassion in your life look like?
For me it looks like asking myself some tough questions about what I’m still afraid of…why I still have doubt that love can’t win…what I have to be honest about in order to show more compassion.
These are hard conversations. Hard to have with yourself. Harder to have with another. But damn it…we need to start talking about it. In case you aren’t aware (she said sarcastically), the world can be an ugly, mean place. And it needs more of us to have the courage to bring love and compassion to our interactions. That requires us to really stop promoting our own agenda and start being in the moment.
I can only speak for myself but I struggle to stop struggling. Dr. Brown calls this “the hustle”. I am always hustling…even more good things.
I hustle to be more loving. When really I just need to love myself and let the overflow wash over everyone else.
I hustle for more courage…and then am paralyzed with the fear of not being courageous enough or not having it at the right moment. If courage is being afraid and doing it anyway…then the trick is to move my once paralyzed feet in the direction of the “thing” (whatever it is)…even if it is just one baby step at a time. (Yup…I just got a visual of Bill Murray “Baby-steps down to the sidewalk. Baby-steps to the door” from What About Bob?)
I even manage to hustle for compassion. I want to read my way to a new solution. I want to zen my way to a place of loving-kindness and acceptance. What I really have to do…which takes courage…is stop and listen. Really listen to others. Hear them. Be in the moment. When I listen I almost always hear myself in another’s story. And when we recognize ourselves, we are able to offer compassion because we know the hurt of not receiving it.
Listen…live the other way if you want…I can’t stop you. Fear, ambivalence, and judgement. It’s a strategy. You can make it your life code. If you want to…I guess.
But don’t we have enough of that? Aren’t there enough scared, unloving, judgey jerks in the world? Let’s move the needle back towards the healthy, good stuff.