Over the weekend I was reading about compassion. Pema Chodron is a good teacher of hard things and I usually end up reading her books slowly and re-reading passages to make sure I get the ideas one hundred percent.
When most of us think about compassion, what comes to our minds is helping the needy, handing a coin to a hand held towards us in the street, sharing extra food, clothes we don’t need, making visits during the holidays to those less fortunate. While it is true that compassion is involved in such charity acts, this is indeed its soft version.
Try having compassion for a fellow worker in the middle of a heated discussion, for one of your family members in their times of elderly or illness worries, while they are changing your life in ways you find utterly uncomfortable, every single day. For a parent who was selfish his entire life and never compassionate to you. Wake up in the middle of a fight with your beloved, the kind of fight that hurts the most and think not of the way you are wronged or how much of a bastard they are. If, instead, you are able to feel compassion for them and for you at the same time, you know you have grown.
Allowing compassion to simmer through the loud yells of the ego in hard times is a true act of spiritual evolution, one that takes for most of us a lifetime to master. There are no guarantees of success, the only thing we can do is set the intention.