Today is twenty-four days, which is three weeks and three days of the Omer, in the year 5781. רחמים שבנצח, Rachamim ShebeNetzach, Compassion within Will. As Mark Horn says, it is “a day for learning to be patient with those one is often impatient with,” Tarot and the Gates of Light, p237.
Though it can be difficult to find one’s passion, it is even more difficult to pursue goals while holding space for the people around us. I have been thinking deeply this week about all the ways my choices make me better or less able to be present with empathy. When I reflect on interactions that are less than ideal, I marvel at how I lacked the capacity for empathy. Whether it is because I am out-touched and cannot handle one more hand in my hair as a security blanket, or because my need to Learn More Things At All Times makes me a less than ideal classmate, empathy is often the missing ingredient. This short film based on a Brene Brown speech clearly explains empathy:
It is also interesting to think about the barriers to compassion. When I was isolated from my authentic self, casting about on a sea of malaise, I had no capacity for compassion. I lived for far too long stuck in a self-perpetuating story of isolation. Clearly, not every negative situation is self-imposed. Systemic problems make growth difficult for many people. Nevertheless, internal purpose and meaning build fortitude for life.
Choosing to be the main character
My life changed when I decided to take control of my story. Choosing to take responsibility for my happiness and sense of purpose drastically changed my life. And deciding to hold myself accountable for how my presence affects other people is the next step.
We all have bad days and bad moments. I do not flagellate myself. Nor will I hide from my mistakes. An honest, compassionate accounting alongside a choice to act better in the future leads to new horizons.