Too Early For Compassion?

Every night, though not exactly every anymore, I do a practice I learned from Deepak Chopra. He called it “recapitulation” and many of you have heard me speak of it. Before sleeping I recall the day’s events and notice if there were any injustices, any situations where I could have been more kind, more true, more compassionate. Initially the events are grand and dramatic—depending on your fiery/lack of fiery nature—but eventually they are quite subtle. I also notice whether someone treated me unkindly, unjustly, etc. Then I simply ask for forgiveness from myself or others. If after saying my apologies, the energy around the event is still sticky and I am able, I will call the person and seek forgiveness directly. Inevitably the apology strengthens the relationship as well as augments my sense of self. Sometimes the negativity occurs between strangers and so I imagine the scene and transmute the issue by substituting something more honorable.

I have been practicing compassion exercises for more than twenty years and it is still difficult. Two things occur from recapitulating the day: I sleep better and I am less likely to behave like an ass because I realize I am going to have to call the person later! Basically I clean up my act before it gets dirty. 

Hillary Clinton and I have the same birthday. October 26. I found out when I was studying political science and planning on acquiring an international law degree. One day I realized I didn’t actually like being stressed out, or told what to do, and opted for a platform teaching yoga instead. I got the better life of the two of us, though Hillary may disagree. 

Can you imagine becoming President? With this world? I don’t know what I would do without my hours of contemplation in the hammock, or without being able to sever the umbilical to my phone. I would be terrible waving at everyone, smiling, trying to ride the fine line between needing the vote and not really agreeing with the policy. I definitely chose the better life. (Tonight I’ll have to say a little forgiveness prayer for comparing my life to Hillary’s. See how this works?) I have a tremendous sense of compassion and gratitude for people, like Hillary, who choose to be civil servants. Goddess bless them

My neighbor and I just had a trans-lawn election check-in. He said, “ I almost found myself feeling sorry for Donald, but then I stopped because that’s exactly what he would want me to do.” I replied while watering my roses, “You don’t do it for Donald’s sake; you do it for you, to stretch your capacity. Donald probably doesn’t care.” See, not even neighbors are safe from my compulsive teaching.

I did watch the third debate, not because I felt I would be better informed—thank you Christian Science Monitor for that. The only victory I am interested in is very close to home. Can I get through the ninety minutes without thinking horrible things about either Mr. Trump or Mrs. Clinton? Can I actually find compassion and understanding for both of them? What about love? It is surprising what your heart does after twenty years of dedicated practice committed to evolution of self and other. You begin talking about LOVING political candidates, even the most ill-behaving, if for no other reason than getting a better night’s sleep. ZZZ…

For those of you who want Donald Trump for President, let me apologize in advance for assuming Hillary’s victory. For those of you still stuck on Bernie, I am also sorry. What I am most impassioned by is whether you won during this contentious election. Would you vote for someone who behaved as you did? If not, the recapitulation exercises are incredibly powerful for releasing the shame and beginning the healing. Here’s to behaving better, no matter who occupies the White House.

 

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