Sunday, November 24, 2013

Finding Compassion

"Once you understand that everyone, everywhere is operating from a place of fear, you know what to do: just encourage."

~ Karen Maezen Miller

The hardest part of all this, of dealing with the drama on my husband's side of the family, is deferring judgment. I'm a hard person. I have set ideas about how people should operate, and there's a streak of weakness in this storyline that causes me to be judgmental. It's much harder to render usable ideas, or rather, to be a useful person whose opinions are heard, from that mental place.

I've been carrying or wearing my mala beads lately. They are a reminder to be present, to be patient. Now, they will remind me to encourage too, to be the positive voice.

I abhor self-pity. It's a byproduct of depression; I do understand that. But there are always ways to fight depression and to improve your situation, if only you are strong enough. I have trouble understanding people who aren't strong enough to do that. Are family members then charged with doing it for them? I resist that. How will that person ever cope on their own without other people's help? At any age (except young childhood), I resist this. And I'm not talking about my age...the people in this scenario are mid-60s and late-30s.

This Thanksgiving and Christmas will be tests. Ultimately, I try to just celebrate the holidays. Thanksgiving is self-explanatory. Christmas is another animal; I'm leaning Les and I toward exchanging gifts at Yule, so that our holiday is separate from the Christian movements we have to make for family.

But in the midst of the Christmas celebrating, they want to do an intervention of sorts. I cringe at the timing, and pray I'll be taking my niece for a long walk around the neighborhood, or hitting a playground with her, because I know nothing from this "talk" will change anything until the parties involved are actually ready to make the necessary changes. A clearing of the air needs to happen, but it also smacks of futility, and I have real trouble with that.

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