Compassionate Connection

Instructions for living a life:

Pay attention.

Be astonished.

Tell about it.

~Mary Oliver

Once you have lived a few embodied years, or a great many decades as the case may be, there is a tendency to either let go and surrender into the unfolding of life, or attempt to control and judge life which of course comes with its own lessons.

Perhaps you are straddling the two unsure of your choices and decisions. Or like the man in the short film below find that by placing attention on being kind and connecting with life, instead of retreating from it or complaining about your lot in life, everything changes.

The identity that you have clung to for so many years may not claim the wholeness of who you are. There are unending opportunities each day to step out of our illusion of control and separateness, and instead see through a different lens..

I wonder if everyone did one act of kindness and made someone laugh each day, whether that would change the world?

Just last week I was in a large office supply store and couldn’t find what I wanted in the fountain pen refill section. After inquiring when they might get a new supply in I was joined by one of the customer service staff to assist me. Essentially what he told me is that they were not getting any more supplies in of that item and that their store no longer sold them online either.

Now at that point I could have wallowed in disappointment but instead I let go into sharing spontaneous humor with this man as he told me the bad news. He happened to have had the hiccups and what came out of my mouth (which obviously bypassed my brain!) was “people have been known to die of hiccups.” He had a small handheld device with him that communicated with someone in the back of the store so he said to this unknown person, “this woman just told me people die of hiccups”. And then I followed that up with “and I am a nurse!” which he then related to the unseen person “and now she tells me she is a nurse”. A bit of a pause as I was trying to think of something helpful to say, and then I said, “just hold your breath for a little bit and they will go away”. At that point he exclaimed to the person on the device, “and now she says to hold my breath and that will certainly stop them as I will be dead!!”

,At that point in time we were laughing hysterically with tears flowing down our faces and I am certain we somehow reached that invisible person listening in to the conversation too. Instead of his being sorry he disappointed me, and me not leaving the store with what I came there for, all 3 of us were left with an endorphin rush from the improvisational exchange.

And guess what? His hiccups were entirely gone after that playful exchange!!

We all want to be happy and sharing humor is a very rich and enjoyable way to connect compassionately with others who just may need that bit of laughter in their day. Watch the transformation happen when you cease to judge (yourself and others), open your heart and connect with kindness and humor.

Life is not linear but spiral instead. Keep the flow going….

“Life is full of ups and downs, ebb and flow.  Things happen that create sadness, grief, anger and fear.  No one’s life is 100% happy all the time. 

We need to stop judging others and realize that we have no idea what someone else is going through. If someone is being rude, give them the benefit of the doubt that they may be having a rough day. You may just have one of those yourself someday soon…  

And if we make it okay to be open and honest when we are struggling, it allows each of us to have a deeper level of understanding.  So let’s all work on becoming more compassionate. Together, we can help each other and ourselves.”

Filmed in Barrydale, South Africa by Green Renaissance –
Featuring Anton de Villiers.

Gaye Abbott, Natural Passages Consulting, 10/20/21. Please feel free to share this post and link to WildlyFreeElder.

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