I have thought of my life as a rally race, in which I am driving blindfolded and without a navigator. There have been many bumps in the road, and several turns, but a whole lot of discovery. One of the greatest treasures I have encountered on my journey is compassion. I stumbled upon it unintentionally.
I have always approached life with passion and courage. At five, my peers would ask me to form an army against the neighbourhood bullies. Fearlessly, I would lead the confrontation, ready to fight. At eight, I had a reputation for beating anyone who crossed me. I gave up the physical battles by thirteen, but anger still lurked just below the surface.
At twenty, I applied for a job in customer service, only to be told I was too intimidating. I ended up in collections. An attitude of judgment closed me off from others. Life was a battlefield, and my sword was raised.
Then, at twenty-eight, something happened. The walls around me came tumbling down to reveal a highly sensitive and intuitive side. It is impossible, I discovered, to empathize with another, while holding judgment. Opening my heart in empathy, unlocked compassion. The world suddenly became kinder, warmer, and more loving. I laid down my sword.
Compassion without limits, I would learn, can be detrimental. I felt so wholeheartedly for others, that I forgot about my own needs. Conservation was the next treasure I needed to find in my life quest. The ability to establish boundaries, and set parameters on how I expended my compassion. Life is about balance, and while there are limitless opportunities to help others, I do not have limitless energy. Free will dictates making healthy choices. I understand, but have not fully incorporated this treasure.
The last gem I am just uncovering, although I still have a lot of digging to do. It has been a hard road to come to the realization that I do not have to be the first, the best, or the only. I am not sure, but I suspect, that it relates to my sense of not being good enough.
A work in progress.