This morning as I relaxed in my soft and comfortable easy chair, I gazed out the window at the gorgeous powder puff scattered blue sky, while listening to the birds chirping, and enjoying the fresh morning air on my face. Sunshine sparkled on the dew kissed trees that swayed in the gentle breeze as nearby bamboo wind chimes rhythmically tap danced. In the midst of this delight, I pondered the word compassion.
The word immediately evoked a broad but rather impersonal sense of love and empathy. Love flowed from my heart toward nature, the earth and human beings in general. One aspect I noticed was that these feelings embraced everything outside of myself. For some reason I was not included in this loving embrace and that bothered me.
Everyone has their own unique relationship with compassion and express it in varying degrees in their life. For many it may be limited to their immediate loved ones or pets. For others it may equate to serving once a week at a homeless shelter. For another, donating a sum of money to a humanitarian cause may give their heart that warm and fuzzy feeling they are perhaps unknowingly seeking. For others it may remain on an emotional level and simply equate to a feeling of love for humankind, the creatures of this world, or the environment.
I pondered, what if we directed those soft and tender feelings that compassion evokes toward ourselves. Would that be so terrible? What if we were gentle and kind with our self and embraced our concerns, insecurities and daily worries with love.
When we ride in an airplane, the crew instructs us to place the oxygen mask on our face before we try to help others. In the same way, what if we made ourselves a priority and took the time to nurture our body, mind and spirit and enrich our lives. We would then be in a much better position to share kindness, love and compassion with others. Compassion could become a state of being, rather than a lofty thought or action outside ourselves.
So next time you think about compassion, try to encompass yourself inside the sphere of warmth, caring and love that it generates.
hello Gail, what you wrote here about compassion is beautiful and quite helpful.. lately I’ve been realizing and experiencing more and more how God loves me more than i could ever love myself.. interestingly, instead of disempowering me it has had the exact opposite effect.. and that it’s only in knowing how loved i am and in experiencing that love can i truly love and have compassion for others.. Su
Many great men and women of history have ventured to search for the truth. Gandhiji and Mother Teresa (both of India) are two of them. History may not have known about quite a few of them as well. But to a theist this ‘quite a few’ are known very well to Him. At all times of human existence, there were and are the such. We are very well aware of many in the world today for example, who care selflessly for the poor, sick, old, blind, deaf, war displaced etc.
I, along with many others through your book experienced great delight (even if with a tinge of pain and sorrow at your sufferings) and such great admiration for Gail Tredwell, the great seeker of truth and more so to the writer Gail Tredwell. If Gandhiji were to think at the time of being shot, “why did I waste my life for this foolish people” or Mother Teresa, “why did I waste my life embracing the miserably poor, sick, dying including lepers”. So also there is great gain and enlightenment to the seekers of truth in you through your flawless art of writing in your book. I like many others have no interest in the god man/god woman phenomenon, much more so after reading your book.
Not talking about Comparative Theology of world religions, the confusion of the Westerner to seek meaning of life in the East’s religions is destined to failure. Religions of the world are unique in themselves and the foolish mingling, mixing or dangling with them is fatal;. Again and again incidences and experiences of many show this vividly. If one wants to understand more about any religion, let them go to the books written by the authorities of the respective religions, their various sects and sub sects etc., and never to the ignorant and almost illiterate god man/god woman.
The exotic or the weird practices of the Eastern religions is the factor which generally attract the Westerner. But in reality it is that they have lost the link with their roots. For equally or more exotic practices, customs and traditions are there in Orthodox Christianity. The stripping away of these practices, customs and traditions from the Christianity as practiced from the times of the Apostles was done by Protestant and subsequent movements in the West. But Orthodox Christianity (rare in West) is alive and it is the second largest after the Roman Catholics. The stripping away of all such practices, customs and traditions and implanting cold logic instead in Christianity is the reason for the disillusionment of the Westerner, I feel. Well this is just my opinion.
I strayed far from what I intended to comment. Gail, you are an expert suspense creator. All through your book, I was literally eager to know what is going to happen next, through each page. So I would enjoy much more of your next book if you will avoid all religious and related matter and create a book of raw life and its happenings.
You are a much loved and sought after writer to many of those who have read your book. And this piece is a sort of revelation because in general we forget this.
“In the same way, what if we made ourselves a priority and took the time to nurture our body, mind and spirit and enrich our lives. We would then be in a much better position to share kindness, love and compassion with others. Compassion could become a state of being, rather than a lofty thought or action outside ourselves”.
I know what you are saying. The philosophy of destroying the ego doesn’t exactly help self-compassion. And all the programming that went with it.
Also, you probably have gotten a bunch of hate mail, and I know some of us dealing with what you have brought to light have been hard on you –not intentionally.
Thank you again for coming forward with your story. You have helped many many people by doing this.
Read your recent posting regarding compassion. Really well written and quite thought provoking. Often people who fall prey to cults tend to think that qualities such as compassion and kindness are to “external/outside of oneself” and that they only lie in spreading the word of their Guru and thereby saving humanity from damnation. They end up being psychological mess without any “true inner radiance and true compassion”. I hope your writing will cause at least some of these people to do a self-reflection.
hi gail madam its a great thing to see ur coming back.be brave .dont let u giv up. take care of urself .gof is with u
Gail, this is a fantastic post and very symptomatic of the wonderful progress you are making in coming back to the full and true Love that you already are. I got to see you around Ammachi in the early 90s in the US, and while I am yet to read your book or watch any of your interviews, I am instinctively drawn to say “please take good care of yourself”. We are a primitive species, a biological entity who is looking for a way to deal with death, and we invent all manner of ideas and concepts that take us away from who we are to begin with. Your blog post is similar to what I say: “you can’t give what you don’t have”. There is so much beauty already here and it is only by walking away from all concepts including gurus, heavens and hells, that I can tune into this beauty. People want to save the world but they have not yet saved themselves. The world needs to be saved from me, and from my madness, matter of fact. Compassion and God are where I am not. All I know is my ego, and to get past my ego I have to get past all ideas including progress, good, bad, moral, immoral, etc. We have what we are seeking for right here in our hearts but we go searching all over the world. The real teachers shoo us away and tell us to establish ourselves in our own hearts. They don’t claim to save anyone, for they say that no one exists (as personalities or stories). Ultimately we have to stand on our own two feet, and be responsible for our own mistakes, and all contrast or difficulty is a wonderful motivator for us to practice stabilizing in the heart of peace that is already here. I am so happy you are doing what you are doing. Your journey is very inspiring and it will help humanity in the long run to examine our collective, genetic and psychological craziness. God Bless You!!!