On compassion…

I experienced something profoundly moving last weekend. It was something shared by many. We celebrated the life of a friend who, by simply being herself, made the lives of those around her infinitely better. I can’t express my feelings about the meaningful conversations or the energy we all felt today. I may find words for that someday. I’m not ready to go there yet. It does tie into what I want to share today.

I want to tell you about a personal experience that made me think. I had a check-up appointment booked for a follow-up after an appendectomy. My appointment was the first of the day at the clinic. As I waited and the appointment time came and went, I heard others arrive and state they were there to see the same doctor. It was some 2 hours later, and I had not been called in yet. I heard folks complain and say it was unacceptable. This led me to put myself in the shoes of the doctor. 

What can force a doctor to be hours behind schedule? There could be many reasons, and we can all come up with several quickly. I decided that being one of the first patients she was to see, it was my responsibility to offer as much compassion and kindness as possible as she moved through what would surely be another busy day. 

She came into my room apologizing. I told her that she had no need to apologize and that I appreciated her hard work and dedication. Truthfully, she looked a little surprised. She went on to explain what had made her late. It was, I assure you, a very valid and noble reason. At this point, the reason didn’t matter to me. She quickly looked me over and determined that all was well. I looked her in the eye and thanked her for what she had done for me and that I understood that in her profession, urgency takes precedence. She stopped for a second and touched my arm. She said, “thank you.” 

I can only hope that the folks waiting to see her offered some kind words and not expressions of frustration for having waited so long. I am not blind to the fact that some who were waiting were elderly or had underlying reasons for their frustrations. I am not writing about them. I am not judging them. I’ve been there. 

I’ve been learning about essential oils and crystals and their healing powers. The word “namaste” is included in some material about compassion.  I’ve read that the meaning of this word translates roughly to “the spark of divinity in me recognizes the spark of divinity in you.” Isn’t that beautiful? We are all one.

Bearing all of this in mind, I have a challenge for you today. I will be challenging myself in this same way. When those moments of frustration or anger hit you, as they surely will, as you go about your next few days, before you react, take a breath. Imagine you are on the receiving end of your own words or thoughts. We are all one. Would you want someone to speak or act that way towards you? Would you react the same way if the other person was someone you care deeply about? 

Why shouldn’t we practice caring about others? Perfect strangers. A smile, holding the door, all those things we would normally do anyway. Take it a step further. Practice kindness and compassion when you’re running late, when the line in front of you is long, or when someone has done something that made you angry.

This is no small challenge. I know for myself it will take some work. I do feel more at peace just thinking about it. That is what I wish for you now, peace, kindness and compassion. 

April 21st, 2022

12 responses to “On compassion…”

  1. Your kindness warms my soul.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anastasia, This couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time as I navigate a very critical time with my emotions. As my extended family tries to deal with a cruel and unethical situation happening to one of them, I find I am reacting as a parent would. While the situation is inexcusable and ruining lives, I need to heed your advice of taking a breath. I want to solve it but it is now in the hands of lawyers. It comes down to the love and compassion I feel for family. But I will take that breath.

    Hopefully at this age I have grown to react as you did at your appointment. I had a situation that compared to yours recently and I did actually react with kindness over a period of a year. It took every ounce of patience that I could muster! I want that to become the norm in my life not the exception.

    I am already looking forward to your next blog! With Pastelle’s death, I am taking time to cherish….kindnesses to me, positive occurrences and the life I have. You are helping to cement that Anastasia. Timing is everything.

    I promise not to ‘pour out’ my life after each blog!

    Thank you, Carolyn

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    Liked by 1 person

    1. Carolyn, thank you for that beautiful share. I am sure others will relate when reading. This is a space for that. Open to anything you would like to share. Holding space for you in my heart. ❤️

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  3. Beautifully written. It resonated with me today as I’m still waiting on a rental vehicle after my vehicle met a bear Monday night. I’m thankful nobody was hurt and maybe others need a rental more than I, as I have great family & friends that have offered help.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Joan! That must have been terrifying! So happy you are OK!

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  4. Hope this writing helps you through your grieving process and beyond !! We are one indeed!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love this. Thank you for the reminder ❤️

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  6. This was beautifully written and so true. We never know what others are going through , and compassion and kindness go a long way. Thank you for your compassion ❤️

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  7. Dearest Anna….another gift you give to the world! So beautiful written! I see your mom’s heart in so much of this…and that is meant as the highest complement..to you both! I look forward to your contemplated, cultivated, curated wisdom…as it comes forth. Thanks for being you! 💗

    Sent from my iPad

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    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ana, it’s not always easy to put thoughts and feelings into words that help others understand themselves. You’ve managed to do just that in this text. Thanks for the reminder to be kind. It’s a tough time of year – spring either shows up or doesn’t, we’re still wearing masks, COVID continues to pursue us, the horrifying war in the Ukraine shows us pictures of unbelievable suffering and misery – and our souls are worn out by it all. Well, at least mine is… but your words make me feel as if there is something that I can do and, most especially, that it doesn’t have to be something huge. Smiles, kind words, empathy and compassion cost nothing but can make all the difference in our day and someone else’s too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Beautiful words Alice. Thank you.

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  9. Anna, so beautifully written and such a great reminder. My husband likes to remind me (as my doctor is often late) “her day is probably going much worse than yours, can you imagine how stressed out you would be if you were late for every meeting you had?” And he’s right, and I calm down, and walk in to the office with a smile on my face to her.
    Love reading your words xo

    Liked by 1 person

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