Thursday, October 20, 2011

Flying Lessons

Lesson 28: Compassion

Life is an interesting thing.  The more I experience and the more I learn the more I find myself being ruled by compassion.  I hate to admit it, but in the past I often sat in judgement of others.  I always knew what they should be doing with their circumstances and what the answer was {of course I did; because I didn't live their life!} It has taken some serious circumstances in my own life for me to learn that there is no perfect answer for everyone; there is no perfect life; there are many complex circumstances.  The best thing I can do is to not focus on WHAT someone should or should not be doing in a particular circumstance but rather HOW I can help them, encourage them and help them find their own strength to choose what path they are taking next.  I can let them know that I am sorry for the situation they are in; I'm sorry they are in pain.  I can help them to feel strong and loved and encouraged.
Truly, how can I know what someone is really going through when I am not the one going through it?  And how much does everyone else really know about the details of YOUR life?  Have you even been the one being judged?  Have you ever been the one who had people telling you what you should do and how to do it and trying to make your choices for you?   Was that helpful?  I know that for me I have found that people who honestly care about me and my happiness do NOT tell me WHAT to do; rather they tell me HOW to be strong, remind me who I am; help me find answers from God that are catered just FOR ME, and ask how they can help me in my journey.   The more compassion I have in my heart, the less judgement I have in my mind.  Does that mean that I stand in tolerance when principles that I believe are fundamentally wrong are being attacked?  No.  Does that mean that I apoligize for the fact that I believe in God and that I belong to a church that I absolutely believe is true?  No.  It does mean that I believe that people need encouragement and smiles; love and compassion.  Am I good at this all the time?  NO - I wish I was.  I want to do more of it.  I stand for what I believe is right and good and true.  I stand with compassion and with the hope that I can help others {and myself} find our own strength through the Lord to follow the path that is uniquely ours to live.
All I can say is that I'm so glad I've changed.  I'm never going back.

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