Monday, July 22, 2013

Compassion, Addiction, Bulimia, and Change



I have spent some times in rehabs. I have spend some time working with recovering people. Lately I have been pursuing a writing path, studying mysticism, and deeper meditation practices.

Sunday I spent a few hours in dialogue with Christian mystics. And the whole concept of compassion was addressed. How we need to have compassion for people, animals, plants, and mother earth. It was really interesting stuff. And, I started to think about it. (I can't help it I think too much.)

I wonder. For a long time it has felt to me that compassion is a feeling, an emotion, and it seems that it has been regulated into an intellectual concept. We are conditioned to think compassionately instead of having compassion emotionally. It has become like a lot of the emotional structures, regulated to thinking about emotions instead of having them. It feels sad. 

Definitions of compassion seem to lean on sympathy and sorrow over an other's experiences. My definition of compassion hinges on the ability to be empathetic with others.  Empaths share the feelings of another.

OK where am I going with all this?

The hardest task I have with my emotions is having compassion for myself. Melding with my own experiences and feelings.

When I am experiencing difficult emotions, instead of being compassionate, I have a tendency to rationalize, feel sorry for myself, try to solve, change, or the worst, ignore my feelings. What about just having compassion for myself? Empathy and compassion for how I am feeling and allow my feelings to just be until they change. (And they will change, I can never hold onto a feeling without a terrific struggle internally.)

I had been slowly addressing this issue via meditation. I do divide meditation into two arenas. One is meditation itself. The other is contemplation I use both. My internal knowing of my emotional structure was initially triggered by extreme focus on the object of emotion. I spent some time motionless and focused in this arena. (I knew that thinking part was going to come in handy!!) So recently I have been very focused on compassion.

For? My sadness, for the person who's only tools were drugs, alcohol, and bulimia these as activities to resolve feelings and my joy for the person who no longer needs these activities to numb himself.

I have noticed this as a result.

A little at a time I am having more compassion, true feelings, for other people, places, and things. I becoming more "emotional" in my responses instead of thinking my way through events. I am more genuine in my feelings. 

I have found that it is so easy to think we have compassion for others, but without the experience in having compassion for ourselves what is it that we "think" we are accomplishing?  Thinking compassion is not an emotional structure.

Part of what I do is to provide workshops on spirituality, mediation, contemplation, change, and recovery in the Detroit and surrounding areas. I work with individual and groups up to 50 people. I have received lots of positive feedback concerning compassion and the result of an individual focusing on compassion for the self. It has been a positive experience and I love working with this.

If you have questions, comments, or would like to set up a workshop or individual sessions please contact me at and/or respond on this site.

In Loving Kindness,
and today, Lots of Joy.