Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thankful for family

For the past month or so I've been keeping a daily journal that notes every day what I'm grateful for. Ten things I'm grateful for. And --it's funny that usually the things are people. People and food. Mostly those two things are what I'm most thankful for. The experience of being in relationship with other people is precious. It's really the most precious meaningful thing I can come up with in my life.

I just spent the past week with my niece and nephew and while being with them is sort of's one of the best feelings I've ever experienced in the world. It's the deep deep compassion and love I feel for them. With them, it's easy. It's like a freebie. It just arises. Even when they are total jerks, I can understand why and forgive them so quickly. I don't know what it is. It's quite fascinating to notice though. When I compare their behavior to other people in my life and really look at it, rationally --it's quite shocking. They physically abuse me. They scream in my face. They are constantly demanding my attention and validation and energy. And I have nothing but unconditional love for them. Of course, the reason is that they are innocent, and new to all of this life stuff, and so full of wonder and joy that I just find forgiveness for them. Like I said, it's sort of a freebie.

But, truly, if I'm going to be truly honest..the people in my life that I have trouble feeling compassion towards are also innocent, new to the life stuff (because life never does get old), and absolutely full of wonder and joy.

So, I guess I'm grateful that I am able to consciously experience that depth of compassion for two creatures, Isaac and Audrey. My relationship with them forges a path of unconditional love for other relationships in my life. They allow me to realize that I have the ability to experience that compassion for every creature on the planet. It just requires a little more work for others. But the work is for me to allow the same flow of compassion and empathy for everyone that I allow for my niece and nephew. Just because it's not as easy for me to give this to others in my life, does not mean it's not possible. A dear friend said to me that forgiving and forgetting is for "giving" so that you my experience the "getting". I want to continue in my life to give people the same compassion and love that I am able to give my niece and nephew, so that I may be open and available to "get" the love that comes as a result.

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