As I write this, I’m packing and preparing for my annual transformational cruise in Croatia.
My friend and editor Mike said to me as he wished me bon voyage: “You are on a precipice of something great!” I smiled. Yeah, this is a big ‘getting out of my comfort zone’ thing on many levels – including leaving my kids at home with a friend of mine… But each time I have stretched myself in the past, I have learned something new, and discovered something about myself that helped me grow as a person.
So, I don’t mind precipices anymore. Especially the ones involving voyages and boats (I’m pretty sure that if I did a word search for “journey” and “boat” in my blogs, I’d find hundreds of them… and only a few would actually be referring to a cruise or a boat in the literal sense.)
Because life is a journey, and we are all on a precipice of something great each day, anyway!
Each moment brings an opportunity for us to be curious about something or someone, to open up a little bit more and to see things we haven’t seen before.
I spent several hours last week pondering this thought (EnneaThought for the Day is a service mark of Enneagram Personality Types):
“Compassion is a quality all types can cultivate. How can you experience and express compassion for yourself and others? Try using your natural gift of curiosity to cultivate understanding, which leads to compassion.” – EnneaThought® for the Day
I considered it as I moved through daily life – and all the different events that were a part of it.
There is always someone – a cynic – challenging our beliefs, disagreeing with us and trying to prove us wrong. There are always situations in which we feel we ought to change someone’s beliefs – to point out and prove how wrong they are. Almost always, this is well-intended, but because of the ways in which we disagree with one another, it can feel hurtful and not well-intended at all.
Curiosity that cultivates understanding and leads to compassion changes how we handle those situations and our disagreements.
Instead of digging in our heels and defending ourselves, compassion allows us to listen and gain new information. Compassion provides a new perspective from which we might actually be able to find a common place, a solution that works for the benefit of all.
Compassion moves us away from the precipice (where we can easily get stuck – paralyzed by fear of what’s out there, sad to leave what’s behind, or simply not moving because we like where we are) and into something greater.
Sound too idealistic?
If it does, try to stretch yourself into this ‘too idealistic’ sphere. Be curious. Remember, you can always turn back and retrieve into the safety of old ways.
As for me, I’m going to use every tool and every gratitude prayer I know to get me through the anxiety of being an ocean apart from my kids. I’m going to turn discouraging social media comments into curiosity, understanding and more compassion.
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