Compassion

I was on the treadmill today at the gym listening to a TED Radio Hour talk about compassion. They talked about all of the reasons for having it, including as a way to insure survival (“you help me now, I’ll help you later). It was interesting, but I couldn’t help but think of the current state of affairs in our country. The subject came up again in a Facebook group I follow for a class I’m taking (Ali Edward’s One Little Word). A woman from Australia gave an “outsiders” perspective on what the US is going through and offered compassion. Now, after reading the two chapters in Traveling Light, I feel, again that word – compassion – for others, for ourselves, for strangers, for people in difficult situations, or that find themselves in terrible situations that they may have caused.

We have become so hard on ourselves and on others. I know, for one, that I rarely show compassion to myself. I just assume that I am stronger than any situation I find myself in and that I should be able to just suck it up and move on. It’s not how I work though. Like in Max’s chapters, I am a worrier. My husband has told me for years that “worrying is a waste of energy.” Yeah, but. How do I stop? There’s no switch to flip. Max basically says there is and it comes in the form of trust. Trust?!? Another hard one.

Worry has never brightened a day, solved a problem, or cured a disease.

True, and I get that. I just can’t let go of my burdens. The other thing he talks about, which goes right along with the worrying is the whole “what if” line of thought. What if. Ugh! That just leads to worry and the worry (“what if I can’t stop worrying?”) leads to more “what ifs.” It’s a vicious circle and one I can’t figure out how to get out of, except to trust. To trust God that He has the answers and will set things right. Will he? Will he really? I think He will, at least, He has in the past, but will He continue to? I suppose only time will tell and my worrying about it isn’t going to make Him move any swifter or to show me the plan of how things are going to get solved. It’s just not the way God works. And that, is what I  need to remind myself, over and over and over again.

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