Be careful what you pray for. We've all heard this expression. Pray for wisdom you get your butt kicked. Uh-huh. Pray for compassion. Oh boy.
Compassion is not something I'm completely lacking but in certain areas and with certain kinds of people I am less tolerant than I would like to be. The Judge Judy aspect of my personality isn't something I'm proud of but she's there. The good news is that I'm willing to work with her. I'm willing to change.
Lately, I have been asking Higher Guidance to teach me how to respond with compassion and to remove my lack of tolerance. Just when you think no one is listening, nothing is happening, no traceable movement is taking place, the ground shifts and splits open, revealing the Path.
I've been asking for my judgmental thinking to be removed. What happens? I get a pain in the neck. What does the pain in the neck do? It slows me down. It's a pain in the neck! It forces me to listen. It sends me right to the Source.
What do I "hear"? The pain in the neck is inflexibility. It's judgment.
So this morning, I go to the weekly morning meeting of Toastmasters. I'm scheduled to give a speech. I walk in. It's crowded. There's a seat next to a man I don't know. When I ask him if I may squeeze in beside him I get a smart aleck remark. My back goes up.
I sit down, turning away from him. I realize he's new so I force myself to introduce myself. He says, looking into my eyes, "Are you okay?" My back goes up even higher. I say, "Yes, are you?" His eyes are bloodshot. I smell liquor on his breath. I turn away.
My head starts working overtime, "Who is this clown? Drunk in the morning. Arsehole. Arrogant. Am I okay? I'm okay, what about him? Judge, judge, judge." I hear him say, "You may have just BS'ed me but that's okay."
My anger starts to boil. Then... wait a minute. What is going on here? I'm about to give a motivational speech. I'm about to inspire people, shine my Light. How can I do that when Judge Judy has taken over my body?
Something shifts. Who am I to judge this man? I am a clown. I've been drunk in the morning. I've been an arsehole. I am arrogant. I'm NOT okay. I've got a friggin' kink in my neck! This man, drunk or not, saw through me.
I soften. This is the Path. This is Higher Guidance giving me an opportunity to practice compassion. I asked for it. I got it.
So I started again. I welcomed this man to our meeting. I smiled at him. When I gave my speech I included him. I changed my feelings toward him.
Near the end of the meeting he touched my shoulder. "May I leave for a few minutes?" "Of course," I told him. Moments later, I saw him walking by the glass door that leads out into the hallway. He was using support canes. He's handicapped.
My God. Compassion? What about humility? This man was my greatest teacher, the embodiment of Higher Guidance, the answer to my prayer.
After he returned and the meeting was over I shook his hand and encouraged him to come back. "I live 110 miles away," he said. Of course he does. In which direction? Up, perhaps?
I told him it was good to see him at our meeting. "Thank you," he said, "And I hope you're okay."
I am now.
Inspiring Message of the Day: When we are willing to be changed the Benevolent Life Force Energy of Universe will respond in kind. We will be given what we need in the most gentle and loving Way. Higher Guidance is ever-present.