I heard an interesting phrase at a meditation retreat this weekend: compassionately let go. The wise man speaking (he runs in Deepak Chopra circles) was answering a question about wanting to help someone by telling them about your meditation practice and/or your God or guru or whatever it is spiritually that is working for you. You must do it without ego and without expectation, as a sharing, he said, as in this worked for me….and then compassionately let go. I liked that word compassion. I remember the first time I heard about letting go in 12-step….detach with love, was the advice. I could detach, but with love…nope. I was too angry, too fearful, upset by how another’s behavior was hurting me, but too afraid to walk away. Which reminds me of something another wise man once said, you always have a choice. Always. It’s just that sometimes the choice is between one pain and another. But I was talking about compassionately letting go: of another’s reaction, attitude, addiction, behavior, with compassion toward them. It’s out of our hands. Of course, it always was. Each person has his own path, his own guides and inner light for that path. We can’t make him turn on that light. The word love requires more than I can sometimes give, an energy of engagement that I can’t or won’t summon for various reasons. I can’t always love others. But compassion….I think I can go there, for the other, and also, for myself. Compassion is an interesting shade of love. Less red.
How do you see compassion and how do you see love? And how do you see letting go?
Posted in Before Versailles, character, creativity, Dark Angels, Karleen Koen, life, love, Now Face to Face, story and character, story and life, story and love, story and theme, story and writing, Through A Glass Darkly
Tagged 12 step, compassion, Deepak Chopra, letting go, love, meditation, why is it hard to let go, wisdom
What might have been are the saddest words in the English language. I spent the week at a workshop given by Natalie Goldberg and the subject of the prompts for our writing practice was relationships. I felt like I was in a graveyard digging up bodies, the bodies of my failures in love. But the corpses weren’t rotting; they were mummified, and that meant a lot to me. The sweet oil of forgiveness was everywhere. The past was desiccated and dry. It meant healing was deeper than I knew; I was looking back on myself and others with compassion. I didn’t like looking back, but I did like seeing the internal movement past grief and recrimination.
The Moving Finger writes, and having writ, nor all thy piety nor wit shall lure it back to cancel half a line, nor all thy tears wash out a word of it….Omar Khayamm translated by Kahlil Gabran.
I find the word, thy, special, moving….a familiar form of you that’s lost…but so beautiful to read.
Posted in character, creativity, Dark Angels, family, Karleen Koen, life, love, Now Face to Face, story and life, story and love, Through A Glass Darkly, writing
Tagged compassion, forgiveness, Kahlil Gabran, moving past grief, Natalie Goldberg, Omar Khayamm, writing practive, writing toward change
They tell me she’s using the pillow that hung from a cord on her doorknob as a purse these days. That, and the zipper case that holds her Bible. Since the pillow has a Bible verse on it, the news comforts me a little….I like to take it as a sign that the Lord, whom she always believed in, is looking after her. She likes to have both of them with her. They have a wheelchair for her on excursions. It tires her so much to walk very far now. Otherwise, they tell me, she’s healthy. I’m on a kind of sabbatical, so I won’t see her until August, when I return to Houston. I left her easily, the on-going changes in her having made me tired and impatient. The Lord is my shepherd, says the pillow. I hope so. And I need some shepherding, too….
Do you have a family story, maybe lovely, maybe not? What an interesting and often exacting conundrum life is….
Posted in family, Karleen Koen, life, love, mothers, Now Face to Face, story and character, story and family, story and life, story and love, story and writing, Through A Glass Darkly, writing process
Tagged Alzheimer's, Bible, caretaking, compassion, mothers and daughters, the Lord is my shepherd, tiredness