Compassion versus depletion
While looking for the good in everything and practicing happiness from the inside out, I often come across people who feel depressed and defeated or angry and belligerent, by reaction to the state of the world around us and I remember that a long time ago I used to feel that way…
From a dispirited stand point it seems “normal” to be depressed, discouraged, anxious, angry or disgusted when one is aware of many sources of pain on our beautiful planet such as injustice, famine, war, greed, intolerance …etc…
One might even think that a happy person in this world is either lucky or selfish, or both.
Studies of the relationship between thoughts, feelings and behavior and their effects on our brain and body, show that we produce day in and day out our own cocktail of chemicals and these chemicals are mostly triggered by the thoughts we entertain. In return, these chemicals affects the way we feel. It's a loop.
It has also been observed that we tend to entertain the same kind of thoughts every day!
So we create a kind of inner climate so to speak, based on the very powerful effect of our thoughts, their associated feelings and the chemical surges associated with these feelings.
Like an emotional signature keeping us in a particular state, physiologically.
We actually get so used to that particular “signature” that when we try to think and feel differently, our brain revolts against the withdrawal!
We get addicted physiologically to our own production of natural downers.
The proverbial “comfort zone” is not always comfortable. It is only a state we are used to.
Like anything very familiar and ingrained in daily life, we’ll tend to be defensive of it when offered to explore other pathways.
Hence finding a good reason in all existing misery, to keep adding our own to the mix…
Enters the jovial person, choosing deliberately to look for the bright side.
How could one be happy in front of so much worldwide misery?
But then, I’ll ask: how do you think our being miserable, sick, tired, and discouraged could HELP the world?
It won’t. It’s that simple.
When we indulge in tuning our minds into CNN for hours daily and take a good dose of atrocity every day, we attack our own system with fear and despair, but we absolutely don’t remedy anything!
Our own self inflicted misery doesn't help anyone.
What to do then, you say?
That’s a great question, I’m glad you ask.
We can choose compassion and practice peace of mind.
We can learn to master responding instead of reacting.
We can light up the world from the inside out.
Sounds too simple? Well sometimes the simplest tools are the most efficient. (Think about the wheel!)
Keeping your heart open, letting your consciousness and your awareness tell you what’s needed is compatible with a healthy practice of mindfulness and all encompassing compassion.
When we decide to choose Compassion over depletion, we take charge of our own mind orientation, and of the way we perceive the world.
We don’t get so overwhelmed even though we know that Life may unfold in surprising ways and that death will take everyone’s body away ultimately.
As a result we can live fully and offer what we can do.
We are conscious, we are aware, and we choose to honor whatever is good in our own life at any time, while wishing the best to others, helping when we can, and making sure that we don’t harm or aggravate someone else.
By choosing to be happy in our own life and live full out, we become bright lights for those who are in the dark.
We have energy to spend on whatever cause is dear to our heart, we give hope, and more importantly we add to the lightness, we add to the positive, uplifting force of creation rather than resisting it.
It doesn’t happen over night, and if you are in a rather poor state of mind at this time, just know that you have the power to choose and learn a new way to relate to the world, to Life, and to yourself; a more joyful, more peaceful way.
That it is not selfish, nor unconscious to do so.
Every living being is meant to grow and thrive. Period.
When circumstances are horrendous, we might only survive at best but any other time it is going against the grain to deny ourselves fulfillment by entertaining depleting, defeating or angry thoughts.
Depletive thinking is robbing us from all power.
As we stay focused on the bad, we waste all the good.
Compassion permits awareness and organized, heart driven action,while being grateful for the good. It also gives us peace.
A positive and compassionate person will naturally tend to give a hand any time they can while making sure to also preserve their own life force. One will focus ON WHAT CAN BE DONE, instead of being obsessed by what is not right. Their very presence will reassure and calm others. They’ll get things to move forward, because THEY move forward in their own life.
It’s a win/win, all the way for oneself and the world at large.
Whatever we look at, we can stay centered, curious, and solution oriented.
When overwhelming emotions come, we can remind ourselves that they are like clouds, passing in front of the sun… And let them pass.
Simple tools like meditation, mindful breathing, good loving care of our body, nurturing of the mind, turning the TV news off is a good start and choosing to embrace Life because we’re here for the ride!
By the way, just for the perspective… your present life is probably someone else’s dream somewhere.
They would not understand that you don’t enjoy it. If they had it, they would!
By mastering our thoughts, we transform our life and can grow exponentially.
And that is our chance to help others while enjoying ourselves…
To your beautiful mind.