Thursday, November 29, 2007

Compassion

May we see through the eyes of the Buddha that God is
everywhere: "God is asleep in each stone, God dreams
in the plants, God awakens in the animals and God
becomes conscious in the human form."

Buddhism teaches that all living things are
interconnected. The joy and suffering of others is our
own, just as our thoughts and feelings touch everyone
else. With this understanding we can embrace all
living things in the manner that we desire to be
embraced. When we are one with all, we are one with
God. This is the true essence of compassion. Let us
all follow the example of the Buddha, and may we
dedicate ourselves to being compassionate in this
world.

Loss is anger producing. Whether you've lost your keys and are storming around the house cursing and beating up yourself or blaming someone else for having moved them...or whether a loved one has died. Hurt is also at the base of most anger. Hurt and loss are deep emotions and no matter how much we 'deal' with them, they resurface.

Self-doubt, criticism, and control - or feeling lack thereof - are likewise universal triggering emotions.

To judge is inborn. We need to make judgments all the time to survive. Is it safe to cross the street? Is that pill gonna help me or hurt me more? But we get into splitting hair judgments like the lyrics of the Rolling Stone: "He can't be a man 'cause he desn;t smoke the same cigarettes as me."

All of these are issues for those who have experienced adoption loss, and all are anger inducing. Some of us have better coping skills than others. Some of us keep them bottled up, or even in total denial for years, decade, or all of our lives. Many of us are very acutely in touch with our anger just below the surface.

It never ceases to sadden me when our anger gets let loose on one another - on our sisters and brothers who have suffered the same or similar loss as we have and instead of being able to get in touch with our compassion - we lash out with anger instead.

It's a constant struggle, but one we must never give up on.

Divided we FAIL.

There are far too few of us on the side of adoption reform and family preservation. We cannot afford in-fighting to divide us and reduce our numbers further.

In the 1960's I was involved a therapeutic group situation in which one of our many mottoes was "act as if until the act as if becomes real." This is the basis of behavioral modification. If we meet someone who's situation or circumstances are different from our own and we do not fully understand that person, act as if we do and remember that they too deserve COMPASSION. part of being compassionate is taking people on their word, believing the best of them rather than the worst.

Sometimes asking, in itself, can feel like a judgment or a challenge, as opposed to just taking the time to get to know someone who's life experience is different from your own. Just listen and learn with an open mind, looking for the similarities, and not pouncing on the differences.

I have also learned that it is common in self-help and 12-step groups which are the coming together of people with "issues" - that it is human nature to look around the room and say to oneself: "I'm not like him; he has had dozens of DWIs, I've only had one." "I'm not like her, she has slept with so many men she can't even count them" or "I've never had an STD." We do this almost instinctively to feel better about ourselves.

This happens all the time in face-to-face support groups. Now, in 2007, so much of our "interpersonal" communication is neither interpersonal nor communication. It's letters and words typed by our fingers and sent through cyberspace without the benefit of voice or facial expression...devoid of 85% of what communication is. This adds yet anothe layer of difficulty. Instead of feeling oneness with our sister and brother in the same boat with us, we are fighting with them for the oars and life preservers and the right to even be in the boat!

All of that triggers the anger that brews and stews so close beneath our surface at all times; like a tiger ready to ounce at any given second....and you have a very explosive situation that leads to more misunderstanding and divisiveness than cooperation.

It's a challenge. I know it is for me! I have often gone back and re-read something I had initially reacted to and saw things I did not see it in it at all. I have also re-read my own replies and seen how they were misinterpreted.

Ah, but I was so much older then,
I'm younger than that now.
If we are to use these means of communication, we need to be hyper vigilant to try not to interpret everything in a negative way and allow it cause divisions between us when we share a common goal.

We get so much misunderstanding and judgment from "others" it is epsecially cruel to feel as if we are getting from one another...

'Tis the season...

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well said. Something I've found to be helpful is if I feel that if I'm having mis-communication or disagreement with someone, to pick up the phone and call them instead of sending an email. Bernadette

Parents & Professionals for Family Preservation & Protection said...

Yes indeed. But in this cyber world much of it happens on blogs like this and we are relating to "anonymous" posters or people we might want to discuss something with further and have no way frustration for me as well.

suz said...

Hey gf. I agree. Wholeheartedly. I suspect I know what may have prompted this and I am glad to see you feel the same way. I lack the words you do. Thanks for sharing them. - Suz

Parents & Professionals for Family Preservation & Protection said...

Unfortunately, it has been a recurring theme of mine...one we ( which most definitely includes ME!) need to be reminded of on a regular basis.

This seemed like an especially good time of year for a reminder of compassion.

Someone just sent me the Buddhist quote and it triggered these thoughts...

Buddhism believes that life takes PRACTICE...we get off course from time to time and have to get back on track. To err is human. To forgive divine.

And ARE a PASSIONATE group of people!

mary said...

There are far too few of us on the side of adoption reform and family preservation. We cannot afford in-fighting to divide us and reduce our numbers further.

Unfortunately there will always be those who would rather seek out and fight over differences, in order to be "better than those people" rather than strive for solidarity.

mary e.

Parents & Professionals for Family Preservation & Protection said...

I hope it sill not "always" be the case.

RussiaToday Apr 29, 2010 on Russian Adoption Freeze

Russi Today: America television Interview 4/16/10 Regarding the Return of Artyem, 7, to Russia alone

RT: Russia-America TV Interview 3/10

Korean Birthmothers Protest to End Adoption

Motherhood, Adoption, Surrender, & Loss

Who Am I?

Bitter Winds

Adoption and Truth Video

Adoption Truth

Birthparents Never Forget