Extending compassion…

I’ve had the craziest, counter-intuitive, are-you-kidding-me?, feelings the last couple of days, ignited, most probably, by the brutality unfolding under our noses. At times, I also feel guilt at my privilege and safety. I have food, shelter, water. I am not forced to listen to the whir of bombs, or cower in the deathly silence of their aftermath. I hear only the sound of rain tapping on window panes, and birds heralding the day. “Is this really helping?” I ask myself whilst rummaging in closets and drawers for stuff to pack into bin bags so some stranger can cart my cast offs to a drop off point near a border far, far away.

Chaos in the midst of calamity.

But my thoughts are not leaning in the direction you might be thinking.

Huge numbers of us are doing what we can to support a country under siege. We shake our heads in wonderment at the unfolding war of aggression that seems barbaric in these modern times. Not surprisingly, however, there are heroes emerging from the rubble, stories being penned of bravery and self-sacrifice, and prayers floating up and out pleading for peace and basic supplies. Borders are opening for thousands of desperate people trying to escape the carnage. I applaud it all but am being asked to turn my attention elsewhere, too.

As a decades old pacifist, I have only ever been able to relieve my own pain, judgement, and panic when I consciously extend compassion, love, light, and the ideals of true peace, to those I perceive as my enemy, which can often include myself, I must add. It is a hard task, and one I’ve failed miserably at more often than not, but I want to, need to, try again.

So to that end, I am going to pray for Vladimir Putin, and others who are like him in word and action (but whose names I will not mention because I just can’t bring myself to go that far right now).

I’m choosing this because I am being asked to do it, but believe me when I tell you, it’s not my first desire and I’ve waffled – am still waffling. But it’s time to follow my gut. It feels very right. And by doing this, I’m kind of putting my money where my mouth is, too. I espouse the philosophy that thoughts become things, that collective “prayer” can bring about change, and that we humans are powerful beyond our imaginings. Because of the way I am, the things I do, and the beliefs I have about our metaphysical power, why wouldn’t I trust that I can send the energy of compassion to a human who seems lacking in it?

I’m not vain enough to think that what I am set on doing will matter – at least not on any grand scale. But one thing I’ve no doubt about at all is that it will do my heart, head, and soul a world of good. It will bring me a modicum of peace.

Of course, I ache for those in the eye of this conflict. It is impossible to not hear their cries, feel their sorrows, and shudder with their fears. Still, I continue to envision logic prevailing, common sense reasserting itself, and egos boxed up tightly. That’s the best I am able to do in this moment, along with calling on my community that thrives in flesh and in spirit to insert seeds of peace into a man’s heart.

I wish you all love.

Until tomorrow…

10 thoughts on “Extending compassion…

  1. You’ve hit the nail on the head when you say that you are going to pray for Putin because that is what sits well with you. Although it’s good to engage our critical thinking faculties on issues, we also have to decide upon the actions that feel right for our moral code, even if we don’t always see how it helps the bigger picture. Everything we do contributes towards making us the person we are. We don’t always get it ‘right’, that’s true, but we always have to do something. Doing nothing is actually doing something by default, so we might as well make our ‘something’ a conscious thing, even if it’s small.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Frances Sullivan

        The simple answer is I don’t think so. It’s the movements…the subversive, ugly, and violent attitudes of illogical and rather mean spirited people who love to stir pots and propagate lies. Their views are too simple and the central theme is that some group of ‘others’ is always to blame.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m with you, Frances. I think that prayers for peace are very much warranted.
    I tried this morning, along the lines of metta bhavana – wishing peace for everyone, starting with myself and then extending outwards.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Frances Sullivan

      Aw, thanks J. I will/must admit that I’m extremely low even though I nudge myself into gratitude because I’m safe…but am I? I can’t seem to rise above the division, see the bigger picture, escape the ignorance, etc. It just makes me so very sad! We in the west, are privileged beyond measure and yet we can’t seem to bring ourselves to share, nurture, or care for each other let alone this home of ours. Why can’t we? (Doubt that question can be answered concisely except to say that, simply, we don’t really know how.)

      When I wrote this piece, it stood as a type of contract with myself. A lot of my blogs are written with that intention. This one has, so far, been the hardest. Picturing these men surrounded in light, people I judge to be full of greed, hate, bigotry and egoic arrogance, has been extremely challenging because the practice is highlighting to me, that I’m no better. (Well, maybe a tad better because I’m not acting out – not directly.)

      Filling myself with light (or ‘peace’ as you’ve written) has become almost impossible. It’s as if I feel I’m too flawed, too wicked. Currently, all I want to do is fade away and pray that whatever damage I’ve done can be repaired by others. But that’s a cop out, isn’t it? I am here, breathing, feeling, thinking so it means I have an obligation to keep trying – trying to trust more, hold to my belief in miracles more, and to keep trying to fill myself with peace so that it can, then, extend to others.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for reminding me that it does start, first, within us.


      Liked by 1 person

      1. How’s your journey going, Frances?
        I think your awareness and desire to change is more than half the battle.
        In contrast, my local news featured a woman who had driven to a neighboring town (about 20 miles each way) to buy slightly cheaper petrol. Her comment on the price – “it’s outrageous.”
        No, madam, you’re outrageous!
        But I guess no matter who we’re dealing with we have to try our best to show empathy.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Frances Sullivan

    My journey…ah…a great question. 🙂 Well, today my travelling is good if only the in the figurative sense. We’re in the throes of another petrol/diesel shortage here – trucks are apparently not getting out/through or some such thing – so, of course, people are panic buying. Stations that have fuel have imposed limited maximum purchases which is wise. At least that way there’s a bit for everyone. That poor woman highlighted in the news would go out of her mind if she lived here. LOL

    Your words help – a lot because yep, it’s about showing empathy which isn’t a strength of mine. But I’ll keep practicing. Recently, I’ve also been reminded that this ‘work’, the work of becoming a kinder person and extending good vibes into the ether, doesn’t always produce any immediate results. In fact, it could actually take many lifetimes to manifest a tangible outcome, and that is perfectly fine.

    Anywho, thanks for asking and for your reminders. Helpful – very helpful. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Apologies for the delayed response. I think I need to figure out a way to get WP to notify me when I get a response to a comment on someone else’s blog. So many thing to do!!
      Happy to be helpful tho!


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