“When the wind stops, the trees still move, the way my heart creaks long after it bends.” --Mark Nepo
Compassion is a word that has been entering my vocabulary and thoughts on multiple levels these days. How do we find it and give it (not just to others, but) to ourselves? Our feelings are like the ripples of the wind. The effect of the emotion lasts long after the event stops whether we realize it or not.
Tess’ “Unguarded Thoughts” highlighted this as she speaks of thoughts that pop out when we don’t even understand from where they may be coming. I wonder if they are the ripple of events gone by. So, again the question: how do we flow with the ripple and find compassion for ourselves?
My dreams lately have been filled with water. Water covering the streets. Water overflowing from the shower. Water surrounding land as if it is an island. The thought I have been pondering is how we quickly want our emotions to be washed away. If we stop to feel them at all, we hurriedly move on to the next thing as we let the emotion slip down the drain. (We don’t take time to be joyous or feel pain deeply.) It is here that I have the image of our emotions running into the sewer and becoming part of the muck and mire—festering and turning into a stinky, rancid mess—waiting to be dredged up. Yuck!
What if rather than pushing the emotions down the drain, we put the stopper in the sink and the covers over the manholes? What if we allowed ourselves to be washed with emotion thus being cleansed at the same time? What if we chose to dance in the rain rather than put up our umbrellas? What if we “experienced” rather than “stuffed?” The water could then take its natural course to the sea rather than man’s forced journey through the darkness of tunnels.
So today I say, let the water flood the streets. Let the shower spray everywhere. There are plenty of towels to soak up the excess. Have compassion for Me. My dreams are telling me to sink into the emotion and feel it, so then it can follow its natural course. I can be washed clean. God of the heavens and earth, the Creator of the trees and the wind, the lover of my heart is with me. Compassion abounds if only I will choose to sprinkle a little on myself.
photo by Mary Jane Hughlett circa 1962