Compassionate when I can be
I have a line I have said for many years that often makes people laugh-usually with some discomfort, “I am nice when I can be to make up for when I can’t be”.
This stems from my strong belief in karma and wanting to bank as many points as I can on days when I can handle the general stupidity of human kind. There will always be days when I am tired, my tolerance is low, the stupid is too high, or the moon is too full. On these days when I cannot be nice I call on my banked points to push me through. It is also a simple understanding of balance along with the ebb and flow of the world and the emotions that control me.
I have been doing a great deal of self growth, acceptance, and overall trying to better myself as a human type of work over the past few years. My focus may shift on subjects and how much time I am able to put into the self work but it’s been a constant in life. I also am a big believer in the synchronicity of the universe and being given what we need as we need it, as long as we are willing to see outside of our desires. This is often confused with victim blaming and I’m not here to argue how you want to interpret life's experiences.
I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately, feeling a bit out of routine, unsure of my path in life. I find the heaviness of the world to be a lot, especially being an empath. Many days the ridiculousness of the world seems to counter my desire to be more open to it all and always seeking more knowledge and experiences. The hatred and horrible things we see in the news and on social media often make it hard to be compassionate and kind when encountering situations and people that don’t fit the way we want the world to be.
Today the Universe provided me with an interesting experience to practice the very compassion and kindness that I have been struggling with.
I was working on my computer in the basement as we are in a heat wave right now. I heard the doorbell and almost ignored it as I wasn’t expecting anything or anyone, and haven’t wanted to interact with people too much lately. Gut told me to answer it, so I did. A woman was standing there, I didn’t recognize her and as she began to speak there was a bit of a language barrier. She was saying she was there for money, kept saying my address and pointing at her notebook. I tried asking different questions, using different words, hoping to find a way to connect and clarify what was happening. She was finally able to say my landlord's name and that he was her husband, I offered to call him and she lit up. I had met this woman only one time when I first viewed the property almost a decade ago. I got my landlord on the phone and explained what was happening, he spoke to her and then to me again.
He explained she has schizophrenia and has been hospitalized a number of times. He was unable to leave work and told me he would call his son to come get her. I could hear the pause in his voice as he asked if I would be willing to take her into my home and have her wait so she wasn’t wandering. I said of course, I understood, and this was something I could do. He was so grateful and said he would call back once he spoke to his son. I got her to sit in my living room and made some tea, as Sheldon would say “when someone is upset you offer them a hot beverage”. My landlord confirmed his son would be there in about 30 min and thanked me.
I am grateful I have not had any family or close friends with serious mental health issues that affected my life in any major way. I can admit that this lack of exposure means I am not always comfortable in situations where I am unsure how someone will react. As an empath, I rely heavily on reading energy and people's intentions. It has always been one of my biggest fears to be in a situation where I do not have the ability to trust my own mind.
So what do you do when you have a woman who doesn’t share your language, or sense of reality sitting in your home as you wait?
You recognize that the universe is offering the opportunity you have been waiting for. The opportunity to practice kindness and compassion. She spoke occasionally to me, repeating the same few things she had at the door. She spoke to at least one other person I could not see in her native language. I sat quietly, and simply held space while we waited. Her son was able to come and take her even though she didn’t really want to leave the space (the family had lived here many years ago, so it was familiar).
The experience left me grateful for the opportunity I had been asking for, the practice I so deeply needed, and a moment away from the world that causes the stress I’ve been feeling.
How can you see your experiences through a different lens? Can you step back and see a bigger picture?