Lessons in Kindness, Compassion and Seeing Beyond Myself

It seems that The Universe is trying to tell me something. Again.

Last week I read this quote on T’s blog:

“Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.”
~ Plato

I forget this sometimes. More than I’d like to admit, in fact. I tend to view the world (and other people) through my own special set of “Sunshine Shades”. I forget that people have their own stuff…their own demons…their own perspective and their own story. It’s easier to feel right and justified when you forget that your “opponent” is human, too. We all do it from time to time. My achilles heel is that I tend to do it way more than the average person.

I received an email yesterday from someone who really helped drive this point home to me. I’d kind of been ignoring the fact that this individual has a story, too. I had my blinders on and am not always fair to this person in my mind. I have an incredible amount of respect for this person for taking the time to have a conversation with me  – it takes a lot of guts to be able to do that.  And from the opening line of that email, my mind opened up to this person – more than ever before. Of course they have a story. Of course they have a valid point. I’d just been willfully ignoring it up until now. Life is often a whole lot easier when we divide the world into “good guys” and “bad guys” – especially when WE are always on the side of the good guys.

The Universe is telling me – loud and clear – to take those “Sunshine Shades” off. Compassion is lesson I need to learn. Being able to do this will open up a whole other world to me…and to those around me.

“The value of compassion cannot be over-emphasized. Anyone can criticize. It takes a true believer to be compassionate. No greater burden can be borne by an individual than to know no one cares or understands.” ~ Arthur H. Stainback

**As an interesting update to this post, just after hitting ‘publish’ I headed over to the Wayne Dyer Daily Affirmations site (which I read every single morning). And THIS is the affirmation that I found there:

Recognize How You View Others

Persistently viewing others as dishonest, lazy, sinful, and ignorant can be a way of compensating for something you fear. If there’s a pattern of seeing others as failures, you need to notice this pattern as evidence of what you’re attracting into your life.

I’m listening, Universe, I promise.

10 Responses

  1. YES! I wear my own version of Sunshine Shades too, and sometimes it is just really hard to see the other side when we are neck-deep in our own ‘stuff.’ I am glad the Universe gave you the reality check you needed. Amazing how that happens, isn’t it?

    • I think it’s something that a lot of us do. For me, it really impedes my ability to be a better person. We’ve ALL got our own stuff….it’s just hard sometimes to remember that other people are dealing with their own shit as well. Going forward, that’s something that I’m going to try very hard to be more aware of.

  2. I LOOOOOOVE this post! Beautiful and AMEN.

    We ALL do this, Sunshine. Awareness, once we get past our anger, frustration, or victimized feeling, allows us to move forward and “lighten our load”. It’s still ok to feel what you feel in the moment. I love that you sat with your frustration the past few days without acting on it. That takes MUCHO strength and awareness. Now, you’re able to see a few things differently. And you’ll make decisions with a much clearer thought process.

    (I’m not sure this post or previous days’ posts are related but your tone is dramatically different in this one.)

    Again, great post. Love this.

    • For the record, yes, they ARE related. 😉

      Thanks for your validation and reminding me that it’s good to just sit with what I’m feeling. That’s another one of those lessons that’s important for me. to learn.

  3. Love. I try to always try seeing things from the perspective of others (when I can) and it makes such a difference.

    Good for you.

    • Thanks, Allison. This is a theme that keeps cropping up for me lately, so I know that it’s something that I really need to pay attention to. And you’re right – it DOES make such a difference!

  4. Compassion for our fellow human beings(as well as ourselves of course!) is a beautiful lesson.One that we need reminding of from now and then.

    Partly it’s a choice we make-do we choose to try and see the world through another’s eyes or do we tell ourselves that our view is the only one that matters?

    The more people upset me, the more I am realizing it is something in ME that I have to address or work on.It is easy to blame others,but really why must we use blame at all?

    LOVE this post. Kudos and respect to you for beiong open to life’s lessons -even if they come from the people we very least expect it to.Ah, such are the mysteries and wonders of life! 🙂


    • Sometimes the best lessons in life come from those we least expect.

      Compassion is something that I try very hard to practice, but sometimes it falls by the wayside. Apparently I needed a little nudge in that direction. 😉

  5. Great post!

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