Friday, December 24, 2004

Book Excerpt: Compassion and Love

Excerpt from my book, Reach for the Stars:

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.


Compassion and Love are the ultimate weapons

I had a little situation in my life where I was having an on going problem with a gossipy mom in the neighborhood. When my daughter came home upset about the rumors, I thought “oh no, not more of this silliness!”

I was so ready to march down there and “have a little talk with that woman. I wanted to remind her that gossip is never good parenting. I had so many good lines to use, I felt so justified, so righteous. So right. But deep in my heart, I knew that telling her about the evils of gossip would not solve my problem. It would probably just make it worse. In fact, experience had taught me that no matter what point I tried to make with these types of women, they would just discuss it amongst themselves until they had found a way to justify that they were right and I was wrong. Anything I said would be held against me, and it wasn’t even a court of law!

So I decided to sit back, calm down and meditate. I tough task when your blood is boiling. And guess what…at that moment, I heard the voice of Dr. Wayne Dyer coming from my bedroom. He was doing his motivational piece on The Power of Intention for public television. He said that if we would just let go, surrender to source, that our world would be better. He told a story about sending out kindness instead of anger. He told a story of a lady at the airline who was not happy to provide service to him. He said that instead of arguing with her about the rules, he instead showed her as much genuine kindness as he possibly could. He even gave her a signed copy of his book. He said that by the end of the flight, this woman was bending over backwards to help: Just begging to assist him in any way that she could.

I thought, yea right, like that would work for me. Then I tried to meditate again. I tried to find some compassion for this woman. Ooh how I tried. But I just couldn’t. I was too angry. I was right and she was wrong, and all I wanted to do was march down there and make her agree with me. Dr. Dyer said something about my ego getting in the way of my connection to source, but I didn’t hear him. I tried again to meditate, to connect to my source of inner peace. If I couldn’t find compassion for this woman, at least I could find a little peace and calm.

Then I heard his voice coming from the bedroom again. He said that when you connect to source it is amazing how just the right people show up at just the right time in your life. Hmmf. Not for me. I made a silent wish for my best friend to call. I wanted to tell her about this awful gossip, and have her agree that I was right. I wanted to vent. Girlfriends are great for that aren’t they?

Well, she did not call.

What’s up with that Doc, I thought. I’m connecting here. Where is my support team?

My mind wandered back to the problem at hand. Gosh I had so much good ammo. I could really put that girl in her place if I wanted to. But if I did, how would she react? She would be angry and resentful, and would probably never see my point even if I talked till I was blue in the face.

I imagined myself going to talk to her preacher, and bringing him to her house to take my side and tell her about the evils of gossiping. That would get her! But would it? Would she repent, throw her arms around me and apologize? No. She would become defensive, get even madder at me, and then call her friend to tell her what nerve I had to bring her preacher into this! Then together they would decide that I was an evil manipulator, and they would spread the story around the whole neighborhood that I was a pariah to be avoided.

Then, I had an interesting shift in my emotions. As I meditated, and continued to try to push these thoughts out of my mind and connect to Dr Dyers Source, I heard his voice resonate in my head. Offer kindness, and you will have ‘em eating out of your hand. Hmmm, is that what I wanted? No. Not really. I wanted to give em the ol one two! But, I realized that in the end, if I did that it would only cause me more pain. Whatever you send out comes back to you ten fold. So, if I wanted peaceful relations with my neighbors, and if I wanted to provide a healthy environment for my kids, I was going to have to push my ego aside, suck it up, and offer kindness. Oooh, that did not sound like any fun at all. But I knew that even though the ol one two would be a lot more satisfying in the short run, the hard work of the route of compassion was the only path to my ultimate goal.

I realized then, that I was powerless to do anything to change this woman. The only thing that I had the power to do was change my self. I could see that my desire for satisfaction was only short term, and that acting on that desire would be in direct conflict with my long term goal.

Just then I had another remarkable realization. The person that I needed at that very moment in my life DID appear! He was a man that I had never met, who was half a world away, and yet, he appeared in my bedroom, on public television, at the exact moment that I needed him, and told me EXACTLY what I needed to know!

It Worked!

For the next week, I was careful to avoid confrontation, and put my focus on sending only positive energy from a pure heart. At first the reaction was cold, but when she saw my sincerity, things really turned around. She invited my kids to a party, asked me to join them for an evening social, and sent several of those cute little e-mails with inspirational thoughts and poetry.

Love from a pure heart is the only weapon of defense that really works to achieve the desired results. Every other tactic just compounds pain and strife. Do not be fooled by the simplicity of this thought. Love is not an easy weapon to wield. It is much easier to be reactionary, spiteful and defensive. To respond with love in the face of confrontation takes more honor and strength of spirit than you can possibly imagine. Your mind and your ego will trick you and try to make you give in. Just as it does to a drug addict. Your body will surge with adrenaline, your muscles will tense, and your vision will tunnel. You will have to fight so hard just to refocus your energy on your self control, that you will not be able to even consider your opponent. Responding with love is an art of the highest form that requires the training of a master warrior.

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