• Mara Elwood

Compassion is the Key

So yesterday was my birthday, 48 years old now. I think the last 8 years have been the most rewarding and fulfilling in my life. Not because I didn’t suffer or fail, have heartbreak or loss, but because I finally realized that self-care and self-compassion are key to living life, especially in the dark moments. I found that acknowledging and accepting just what is in this one moment is a way to bring ease to each moment instead of judgment.

Judgment being the harbinger of continued and even increased suffering. When realizing this for myself, I also realized that judging others was causing suffering. In judging others I actually was judging myself, comparing myself to others and perceiving things as good and bad. My judgment of others also hurt them, increasing their suffering and disconnection in our relationship as well. Knowing that we are in a world of infinite change, and that conditions and experiences shape and affect our beings is quite enlightening.

The conditions and experiences shape each person differently and we have no knowledge of what that person’s experiences or conditions are in any given moment, so having compassion and acceptance for them will pave the road to healing. Healing them, healing us, healing relationships and healing the world. This world that is full of judgment and comparison, of one upping each other instead of accepting, relating and working together. We are all different from each other, yes, but we are also the same. We cannot survive without each other, without cooperation, without acceptance. This is why the Dalai Lama has said that compassion is not only good, it is ESSENTIAL for the continued thriving of our world.

Here is a wonderful poem, that was turned into a song by the Poet Miller Willams’s daughter. I am trying to learn it on my ukulele so I can play it for the participants of my courses. Enjoy, and have compassion.


by Miller Williams

Have compassion for everyone you meet, even if they don’t want it.

What appears bad manners,

an ill temper or cynicism is always a sign of things

no ears have heard, no eyes have seen.

You do not know what wars are going on

down there where the spirit meets the bone.

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