God,Goddess,Great Spirit, Source, The Universe. These are words we use to represent the great mystery of how we got here, where our instincts come from, where our inspiration comes from.
We also refer to it as The One. Consider the concept that the one is me. The one is you. The one is all of us, collectively. The one is not a separate entity, as we are all one. We are collectively a body of moving parts. Dark, light, contradictory and harmonious. We are individually bodies of moving parts. Dark/light, contradictory/harmonious. In each of us we have pain, pleasure, suffering, humility, sickness, health. On the path we learn that we can more easily move through life, improve our emotional well being, if we can keep fine tuning the skill of honoring those parts of ourselves that our programmed mind tells us that we should be afraid of. We learn that if we can sit with the pain and suffering (rather than drown it out or numb it),if we can find it in our bodies and if we can have a conversation with it, we can develop compassion for those parts of ourselves that are ugly, bad, hurting, uncomfortable. We experience discomfort in the process, but we get better at being uncomfortable.
Long have I been wrestling with resentment vs compassion for those in my life whom I feel have hurt me. Recently in my life I was given the opportunity to approach healing those deep wounds from a place of matured spirituality. In trying to heal myself from that abuse I banged my psychological head against the proverbial wall…I teach compassion. I preach compassion. But how in the ever living fuck do I offer compassion to another person when I feel so deeply wounded by their actions? The first step was learning to protect myself. Forgoing the temptation to protect myself with fists and words, I extricated myself from any situations where I would be tempted to fight them. And so it happened,very easily, that intellectually I could start to rationalize where their offenses were coming from. My offenders actions all come from a place of pain within themselves. But that intellectual knowledge was only the first step. It did little to heal my heart. I began to train myself to point the finger at myself when I start to point it out, in blame. I got into those uncomfortable areas as an observer to see what my practice and what I have come to know for sure could offer me in terms of healing. I still found myself angry and bitter and I still found my heart racing and my blood pumping and my voice getting high and my defenses rising up when I would address my grievances with anyone who would listen. I would thrive on others’ sympathy and their anger out of solidarity. There is a high that comes from feeling emotionally protected by heroes. But that is a temporary high. That would feel good for a minute and then it would feel bad later. Training in itself was like training for anything else that is challenging. Stern redirecting when I found myself pointing the finger out. I even started experiencing these offenses with other people in my daily life, for smaller grievances that were easily moved through and forgotten, but coming to me in order for me to practice…pointing the finger in. And then, on the flip side, offering gentleness and love and compassion and forgiveness for myself when I acted negatively or defensively. With time and practice this intellectual knowledge that my offenders were coming from a place of their own experience, working with the tools that thy have been given and so far found on their own, found its way into my heart. That is when the letting go happens. That is when the forgiveness expands from the self to others. That is when compassion begins to grow.
And AHA, I realize that just like our individual bodies, we are also a part of a collective soul body, with many moving parts, contradictory and harmoniously. The proof is in the healing of our heart.