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Compassion Minimizes Suffering

I often find myself in a perpetual state of over thinking. I over think to the point of placing too much importance on the words I speak, the actions I take and the thoughts crossing my mind. I think and allow my mind to take over leaving my heart and body muted. My thoughts become self-centered and erratic because ironically, when my mind takes over nothing makes sense. I become hyper focused and the beauty, the joy, the love that exist within me and around me are overlooked and destructive emotions triggered by the overthinking. Does any of this sound familiar? Do you ever overthink something someone has said or not said to the point of getting yourself upset for no reason? I know I have.

As human beings we are easily pulled off center, become ungrounded and feel terrible for thinking and acting in ways that go against who we are and our belief systems. We have an innate knowing that allows us to understand and experience love and compassion. This is our default setting so to speak. We are not the maddening thoughts swirling through our minds or the reactionary responses that overwhelmingly move through us.

Here’s a great example of a quick reaction to something that pulled me off center. The other day I was out for a run in my neighborhood. As I went to turn right at the end of the street an SUV made an extremely wide left turn into me. The driver did not see me, and I was forced to jump out of the way. As I jump out of the way I yelled, “asshole.” Immediately, after I yelled at him, I felt compassion for him. Yes, his car would have hit me as I ran if I didn’t jump out of the way, but I still felt compassion. I clearly didn’t know what was going on with him in that moment. He could have been upset or sad about something which occurred during his day or needed to get home quickly. My point is, my default emotion is typically not anger, a car aimed at me while running triggered anger. This is an indication to me that I need more practice around not allowing destructive emotions to be so easily triggered. The emotion I felt and my reaction to unconsciously yell were not in alignment with my heart.

When we accept anger, hatred, fear, or any other emotions that cause destructive behaviors we immediately impact our well-being and the well-being of those around us. These emotions exist to inform us, not to lead us or dictate our behaviors. When we allow our thoughts to control our existence, we inevitable move toward the negative. Our overthinking perpetuates feelings of hopelessness, we become lost, and our humanity slowly disappears. I write this knowing first-hand what it feels like to slowly disappear. I became so anxious from over analyzing and over thinking my life that I dissolved into nothing and experience the physical pain that comes with it.

My anxiety brought me to the emergency department several times. Doctors ran all sorts of tests and found nothing physically wrong with me. Although, I was clearly in physical pain, they did nothing to try to determine what could be causing a relatively healthy woman so much pain and suffering. No one wanted to help me unpack my pain. No one saw how deeply I was suffering and certainly no one wanted to say out loud that my pain was caused by my anxiety.

Overcoming anxiety is a lifelong practice. Building the awareness of self and those around me is practice. Learning to separate myself from my thoughts and not reacting to them is practice. These are practices I will continue to engage in as long as a walk/ run this planet. I know how hard it is to fight off the depression that comes from believing there is no way out. My mind had me believing a false reality and my body and heart accepted it. I believed there was no way out and I became sick.

My physical pain has left me, and I am able to see and understand the cycle I created with my over thinking. The main lesson I learned from my experience is we are not our thoughts. We are love. Not the cheesy romantic version created within the pages of a romance novel or by the writers of the multitude of love stories displayed on the big screen. Love as in the ability to feel compassion for ourselves and others. A love that illuminates, comes from the cosmos and lives within us. It is an energy not to be directed toward others for the sake of personal pleasure and selfish need which brings suffering. Pure love eliminates suffering and uplifts you and those around you. When you access the authentic love you carry inside you, you are living from your heart. Your energy shifts and you believe in yourself and your ability to handle any challenge or struggle that comes your way with ease and peace rather than stress and anxiety.

May the pure love from within you surround you and guide you always!


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