Pausing for Compassion by Diane Moore
When we look closely at our difficult experiences of life we may find ourselves
feeling both alone and lonely in our discomfort. However if we are willing to pause
and expand our awareness we will see that there are many others that have
experienced or are right now experiencing the same or very similar situations.
When we pause there is an opportunity to notice that our difficult experience of
sickness, sorrow, loneliness, pain or loss, is shared with many individuals, families,
and communities around the globe.
By seeing that we are not alone, we have an opportunity to surrender the need to
fall into being singled out as a victim. We can consider refraining from the need to
lose ourselves in the spin of “why me?” or “how could this be?”, as we soften to
the shared experience of pain circling around us every day, and make room
instead for caring for all that have been hurt rather than just ourselves.
Compassion’s Way includes all joys and sorrows – not just our own.
By pausing to take just three breaths with awareness, we open the door to
awakening the heart of compassion not only for ourselves, but for all around us
who are suffering small and large difficulties. By pausing for just three breaths we
can awaken the heart of compassion that recognizes that yes, this is part of the
whole of life, or life as it is.
It is important to notice too that difficult experiences sometimes compel us to
bring practice forward out of desperation. It can be trickier but equally important
to remember to use three breaths awareness when we are sleepily going through
the seductive false comforts of every day life. When we remember to use three
breaths practice even on our easiest day, we can allow ourselves to feel fully the
shared grace of the calm, gentle breeze, and notice the kind gesture of the person
at the supermarket who bagged our groceries or the driver who waved us forward
when we were leaving the parking lot.
Pausing for three breaths allow us to see more clearly the truth of life as it is for all
of us. In addition to our struggles, we can also see more clearly the detail of the
natural beauty around us that we share with others. We can notice the simple
and miraculous gift of breathing evenly and deeply, without restriction as well as
the broken heartedness we feel for the place of disconnection that we don’t yet
know how to avoid. We can allow ourselves to move beyond the self centered
dream and experience fully the joy, grace, kindness, heartache, love and sorrow
that is so often overlooked and taken for granted. We can begin to live life rather
than avoid life.