Just as my journey towards Mediumship was beginning, I discovered two of the lessons I chose to tackle in this life: vulnerability and compassion. Compassion is an incredibly complex subject. One may find it effortless to find compassion for an abused woman, or a sick child; but nearly impossible to find compassion for a rapist, or a tyrant. I will be so bold to say I believe we cannot truly master compassion, until we can master compassion for all. This mastery is a formidable task- I have chosen a heavy workload in this life, and I am honored to share my journey with you.
There are vexing aspects to these lessons I have chosen, one being that people naturally assumed (judging by my disposition) I had already mastered these lessons. This judgment made it easy for me to convince myself I was a vulnerable, compassionate, saintly human being. I have always been quick to help others, to be open and honest, and to defend the weak; however, I sang songs of deep, angry judgment against those I helped, those I was honest with, and those I defended. Deep. Angry. Judgment. "How could this person possibly have gotten themselves into this pickle? I can't believe they can't figure out how to do this on their own! What is this person's problem?" I effectively hid from this vicious, internal dialogue until it began eating me alive.
In-authenticity has a way of burrowing through your core, destroying your ability to live life in any meaningful way.
One day, a trusted spiritual counselor looked me directly in the eye, and told me I was the most selfish person I knew. She said I was a ferociously judgmental person; and despite my thinking I was helping others, I was merely preying on the weak to feed my own selfish narcissistic desires.
The pain deepened upon the realization that I could not argue those words. I exhausted myself helping everyone but myself, because that is what made me feel worthy. I had virtually no true compassion, just anger towards those I was sacrificing for. I could not be authentically compassionate- I was far too busy passing judgment. It was in this moment I saw my shadow, and decided to have faith that this shadow was cast off the truly compassionate person I was designed to be. I followed a simple set of "instructions" to learn authentic compassion; and started a harrowing journey towards a more authentic me.
I am quite prolific at tearing myself to pieces; and in realizing a darker part of myself, I ripped myself up to a degree I never had before. I ached with self hatred so profound I found it difficult to find joy in anything. In retrospect, I am grateful I allowed this process to happen, because it made me a better person. During long hours of journaling, I had consistent flashbacks of myself as a child. I would see the child that handed a homeless man a spoon to eat the pudding he pulled out of the trash, so he didn't have to use his fingers. I saw the child who hid gopher holes so the janitor wouldn't find and kill the gophers. I felt the moment when I met my little sister, and loved her more than anything in the world... this is my first memory. I revisited the child who stood between a boy and his bullies, not because I had already developed martyristic tendencies, but because it was simply the right thing to do.
And I wept. The girl who never cries wept, "Where is this child? What happened to that spirit? Where did I lose her? How do I find her again?" As it turns out, I did not lose her at all; I locked her up, and threw away the key. Compassion can be painful. I didn't understand what I was feeling, I just understood it hurt. I taught myself to avoid compassion, because I associated it with pain, with hopelessness, with being taken advantage of, and with helplessness.
Now I want to talk about real pain. The pain you experience when you unlock the closet you have trapped your inner child in for 20 years. She is angry at you. She is hateful towards you. She feels unworthy, forgotten, mistreated; and she has judged you as a terrible person for imprisoning her. As I unlocked this child, I unlocked the mystery of my own anger, judgment, and self-hatred: it was all oozing out from underneath this door, a desperate cry from a forgotten child. Once released, she showed me the moments that chipped away at my compassion, the subtle decisions I made over time to "protect" myself, and the situations that broke me. Standing in the presence of who you used to be teaches you a lot about yourself; it reminds you of who you are, and who you are not. Making peace with others is not nearly as challenging as making peace with yourself, or as important. If we are at peace with ourselves, we are naturally at peace with those around us. Two birds, one stone.
I haven't had to do much "work" since I let that little girl out. Compassion became more natural every day. The world around me seemed much friendlier, more transparent... more neutral. I no longer felt like a victim, and I did not feel as though I was at the mercy of others either. Ironically, my actions seemed less compassionate, at times, after I became more compassionate. For instance, I left my husband, because I could express enough compassion towards myself to allow myself to leave. Developing compassion also made it possible for me to stop blaming my ex-husband for the outcome of our relationship. I fired one of my favorite employees, because my compassion for the rest of my staff outweighed my matyristic need to protect this employee. Authenticity creates a greater ability to make the right choices, and to take the right actions. Furthermore, "right" is not always what we expect it to be.
Am I a beaming, perfect embodiment of holy compassion these days. Nope. Although I can honestly say the changes I have made are penetrating, I still have quite a ways to go; and that's okay. It is okay I still find myself in moments where I am unable to have compassion towards a challenging individual. It is okay if YOU find YOURSELF unable to have compassion towards a challenging individual. We will get there- we are not perfect, we can only do our best. How I see it, is that the catalysts for authentic compassion are self-love, acceptance, and humility; and these are all actions we have to achieve within. As long as we continue to look within, heal our own wounds, love ourselves, and strive to accept others unconditionally- compassion will just appear naturally, grow brighter, and ease our suffering.