Compassion and Empathy

It’s been a while since I’ve sat down and asked to be given a message to share.  Obviously what has been on my mind the most lately is the political actions being taken around the country.  At this point the two-party system in the USA is completely broken.  I would be surprised to find anyone that still stands firmly with their “side.”   If we are paying attention at all it should be clear that the voters, the average citizens of this country, aren’t really being represented anymore.  What is sorely missing in the system is compassion and empathy.  So today I wrote in my journal “What would you have me say on the topic of brotherly love and compassion?”  This is what flowed onto the page in response to the question:

In this time we are seeing a rise in self-protection and fear.  There is a sense of competition strong among us.  The feeling that if something is given to a suffering brother it is thus taken from me.  We’re clinging to our morsels, standing behind a shield of superiority-that we have earned something we dare not be forced to share.  We walk with blinders on.  Ignore the pain of others until it becomes our own.  We put mere humans on  pedestals and worship them even as they fall.  We ignore the beat of our very hearts and the spark of divine within us.

We have decided to hide our light under a bushel to protect ourselves as the world goes dark.  We call on the name of Christ as we defend the unborn children and let those born go hungry.  Why pick and choose the innocent to protect?  Why not love and honor them all?

It is easier to close ourselves off.  Censor the message of humanity.  Life thrives on compassion.  From that place we give.  As we give we shall receive.  As souls we are one-united as God’s children.  In service to one another we are made stronger.  As we withhold love, compassion and support from those who need it our spirit becomes fragmented and dark.  It is then that fear drowns out love and though we may claim to know the name of God we are far from his grace.

Take off the blinders.  Step out of yourself.  Invite empathy and compassion into your experience.  Without it the light in this world is much too dim…

At the end of the day I don’t care about this liberal verses conservative crap.  I care about people and when I hear about the pain of others it breaks my heart.  My utopia is a country or society where people care as much about the needs of others as they do about themselves, where they can actually take a second or two to imagine how they might feel if they walked in another’s shoes instead of judging from a safe and cozy distance.

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Nothing is Against You

I read something recently about the idea of spiritual warfare and outside forces pulling on us.  I felt I needed to address it in a post as I suppose many people feel this way.

Here is what I believe, plain and simple:  NO ONE AND NOTHING IS AGAINST YOU!

Those “forces” that are out to get us, come from egoic FEAR.  I believe that “God” is love and light that is always present and all powerful.  If we build our foundations on that rock we can release the fear of being brought down.  If our foundations are set in Love even the “bad” things make us better and stronger.

I took the topic into a session of soul-writing.  I asked what I should write to respond to this idea of spiritual warfare.  This is what came through:

God is omniscient and omnipotent.  There is no place we can be and nothing we can do in which God is not with us.  There is nothing more powerful and we are never alone.  How do we suspect these forces are going to pull us away?  We are the prodigal sons.  We get to decide where we will go and how far we shall travel from the Beloved (or at least how far away we are in our minds).  It is not about giving in  to the threat of the world.  It is about forgetting to bring our presence back to God, the ever-present power that moves around us and in us.  Do not give power to outside forces.  Take responsibility.  You get to choose to live a life of fear or love.  When presented with a hardship you supply the meaning.  It can be a curse or a gift but that is not the decision of something outside of you.  This world is what you choose to see it as.  It is a mirror for your own consciousness.  Does the mirror show you hatred, fear and obstacles in your path?  If so it would be helpful to go inward and ask why that is all that is visible to you in this world full of miracles.  We are all-powerful in the sense that everything in our life stems from who we’ve decided we are and how open we are to the gifts of the Universe.  Nothing is out to get you.  You are loved, provided for, protected, and embraced as long as you accept this to be true.  As long as you hold figurative swords and take a fighting posture, enemies will find their way into you life and you will be in Hell.  God saves you by helping you save yourself.  You get to decide.

When I first started meditating, someone said to me with great fear in their voice, “Oh no, you’re not a Buddhist now are you?”  When I answered no, the relief that washed over them was visible.  This person chose to create an enemy of one of the most peaceful, loving religions in existence.  An institution built around compassion was, in this person’s mind, a monster pulling me away from God.

I believe our faiths are continuously tested for a reason.  That reason is so that we can grow and discover our own personal truth with the Spirit that lies within us.  I also think this is why Jesus said “Love your enemies.”