Day 4 Yoga Challenge compassion for those I don't agree with
Posted Jan 04 2013 11:35pm
"When you look deeply into your anger, you will see that the person you call your enemy is also suffering. As soon as you see that, the capacity of accepting and having compassion for them is there"
~Thich Nhat Hanh~
Today's pose for Humble Beginnings Yoga's January challenge day 4 is Camatkarasana or Wild Thing. I adore this pose! It is so fun. You can come into it from side plank or from downward facing dog. Here is a lovely video on how to get into this pose by Kathryn Budig. I learned today, after I took my photos of course, that I could be bending the back leg more to get a deeper stretch and also a more solid base.
The first weeks intentions are themed for compassion. Opening the heart. I have made lovely discoveries about myself over the last few days. Today I look to those outside of my happy little bubble of like minded people.
Today my sister in law sent me a link to a little blurb my father in law posted to the local small town Kansas newspaper where he lives and he was airing his grievances and bashing liberals and the president. I am quite liberal and love President Obama and his family and am exactly the opposite from my father in law in many of his views.
What I realized is that I am grateful that the FIL has a reasonable outlet for his stress. It used to be that we fought bloody wars over our disagreements in this country and now we bicker online and have a democratic way of fighting our battles with voting and armies of volunteers knocking on doors during election season. Granted its not a perfect system however it is civilized.
So what does this have to do with compassion? Everything! Today I focused on compassion for those that I disagree with about huge important topics like politics, religion, gun control, parenting, etc.
I am estranged from my mother and brother and although I choose not to be around them that doesn't mean that I don't send them a happy thought when I think of them. I began to like the anger that I felt so justified in feeling and found it addicting. My anger at them only hurt me and didn't change them.
My mother is very conservative and religious and her ideas were something she turned into actively trying to break apart my little family which was unacceptable so I severed ties. Over time I had to let go of the delicious self righteous anger. I want to be the kind of person that sees that they too suffer in this life and I wouldn't wish their suffering on anyone.
This letting go of the anger took quite some time and is an ongoing process. Things are changing. My mother is older and she has severe MS and she suffers immensely from it. I could not imagine the pain she endures daily. I don't have to like her but I do wish that she didn't suffer the way she does. I wish she were not afraid and I appreciate my brother taking care of her. The burden of that must be very great.
I don't want to add to the negativity in the world. I want others, like my father in law, to allow me to think my thoughts and I will do the same for them even if it is polar opposite from my own views. The loudest people I know these days seem to be the ones most afraid. I wish them peace. Namaste.