On Tuesdays, I usually write a Three Truths and One Wish post. I don’t plan or draft these posts ahead of time. Their particular magic seems to be that I show up without an agenda, open up a new post and start writing, beginning with the three things that are true for me right at that moment. Based on those three truths, I end with some sort of wish. This Tuesday, I’m taking part in the Your Turn Challenge, and the day two prompt is, “Tell us about something that’s important to you.” So, I’m going to give you three truths that are important to me.
1. Truth: Cultivating compassion is the most important thing. That includes self-compassion. Compassion is the antidote to all the crud, the muck, the mess, the yuck, the ways that we generate suffering — judgement, criticism, discomfort, irritation, impatience, speed, busyness, dullness, laziness, distraction, anxiety, worry, disorder, neurosis, addiction, anger, hatred, aggression, all of it. And when I say compassion, I’m not talking about “being nice.” I’m not referring to idiot compassion. I don’t mean something that is weak or passive. Compassion, paired with its twin wisdom, is the most powerful force there is. It’s part of the reason we are so afraid of it.
2. Truth: The way to cultivate compassion is through practice. For me, practice is writing, yoga, meditation, and dog. I show up without agenda, connect with my innate wisdom and compassion, and keep my heart open no matter what might arise. I watch how I react, the ways that my mind wanders off or creates a story about what is happening. I notice the ways I generate suffering. I contemplate reality, attempting to know what is true underneath all my bullshit. Even though I have specific, regular and ongoing practices where I can do this directly, what I’ve realized is that everything can be practice, your whole entire life, every moment, every breath is the opportunity to practice.
3. Truth: The goal of practice is to embody compassion. To become a physical manifestation of wisdom and love, to become a being that acts always from that truth. Showing up in the world with an open heart. Letting what is touch you. Not resisting, rejecting, hiding, numbing or freaking out and running away. Doing our best to ease suffering, in ourselves and the world. Connected to our innate wisdom and compassion, we know just what to do, and we can keep our heart open to the contradiction that life is both tender and terrible, beautiful and brutal.
One wish: May we continue to cultivate and embody compassion, and through the merit of our practice may suffering be eased.