As many of you know, the theme for March has been about being present and the theme for April is about compassion. This week, I decided to talk about something which blends these two spiritual practices together. Being still is about being present and sometimes being present means that we have to be compassionate with ourselves as well as others.
Those who know me, know that being still is not something I do easily. I am generally always doing something. However, I am intentional about taking time in the morning to meditate, sit, and be still!
When we are still, we give ourselves permission to be. We open ourselves up to be present with the Divine and to be in the presence of the Divine. While this can be empowering, liberating, and insightful, for some people being still can cause them to feel fear and anxiety. Some people fear being still because they are afraid of what they will feel if they are. For some people, when they are still, it means they are allowing previously suppressed feelings to come to the surface. For some people, staying busy is a way of medicating the hurts and pains in their life. It is a way to avoid being present.
Recently, someone shared with me that they were scared to be still because when they were feelings which she had tried to bury floated to the surface. She would stay busy, which enabled her to suppress her feelings. It was like a lesson my mother taught me about making chicken soup. If you did not allow the “scum” to rise to the surface and remove it, it would get stirred back in and be harmful to the soup. When you stopped stirring, it would rise again to the surface.
After years of resistance, this person finally gave herself permission to be still. What she found was that being still and allowing herself to feel and release these old emotions was liberating and empowering. Once we let go of the things which weigh us down and hold us back, we are free to embrace our authentic self and greet our Divine Essence with open arms. We cannot be present with ourselves when we are not allowing ourselves to live fully in the present.
It is in that process of letting go that we need to open ourselves to the compassion of others and learning how to be compassionate with ourselves.
Compassion is not just a feeling, but a way of being in the world. It is about acknowledging the suffering in the world and doing what we can to alleviate it. When we are compassionate with ourselves, then we are being intentional about acknowledging our own suffering and doing something to alleviate it in our lives.
Practicing compassion is about opening our hearts. It is about feeling the suffering of the world and in our own lives. It means we do not turn away from the pain, but we move towards it with an attitude of love and caring. It means we do not run from that which is hurting, rather we take time to be still, acknowledge it and then do what we can to create and generate loving and healing energies in the world and within ourselves. So this month, may we remember to be still and be compassionate.