I had thought of and titled this blog before the horrific act of terror in Las Vegas last night. That event and the heartbreaking loss of life, health and sense of security that results do not change my statement. If anything, I am affirming my position. Because when we speak before we listen, when we don’t give voice to those who experience trauma, when we do not answer the question “What do we/I do” with Compassion., we don’t do the right thing. The answer, now, as ever, is Compassion.
I have wanted so badly to point fingers at everyone else this past week. I have wanted to make everyone else the contributor to my suffering, my pain and my struggle. However, there are two key problems with my doing that:
- I am not acknowledging their part of the story, and may be placing blame where inadvertent action is causing me to perceive intentional harm.
- I can control nothing but myself, and even if I think it would be better for other to change their behavior, I cannot make them do so (nor, indeed, do I even want to when I honestly address my feelings).
Instead I am making changes that I can make, that are of benefit to me, and I am releasing the things I cannot. I bought a ticket to visit a friend this month who I have held back from visiting because of my fear of flying. I addressed my PTSD symptoms very directly with my Mom, and she listened, which was very healing after feeling that she had ignored me the other night. I gently asked a friend not to include a person in our group who has hurt the group (she lacks a certain amount of discretion and tends to just add people into activities without checking with the core group first, which has caused some issues when the added people were not positive participants). She accepted the correction immediately, and I responded by checking with her for her level of comfort about a location change for another planned event.
I accepted help. I accepted an offer of a venue for an event I am hosting that will take a lot of the burden off of me, and I did it because I acknowledged this person would like to contribute and it would make them feel good.
I could have blown up all of these circumstances with MY WAY. I didn’t, and today has been a beautiful moment of light in the darkness of hate that has once again tried to descend.
Compassion is the answer.