Right now I’m sensing that “fearless compassion” is my motto for 2011. I just came up with it as I was stuffing my virtual voodoo doll with my sins of the past and dreams for the future. Yes, I know, it sounds like I have flipped my lid, and perhaps I have, but that’s what I was doing: a friend sent a link on Facebook to http://www.burnthiskeepthat.com/index.html?did=1760, a clever site to help bring some catharsis to the New Year’s celebration, and I got to work. I dressed up a little bean bag version of me, named him HUSKY, and added hopes and dreams and sins and fears. He will be digitally set to fire and, allegedly, the bad will fall to embers and the good will rise into the ether and surround myself and the year with promise. Hey, that’s pretty good. I think I’ll keep that: “may the bad fall to embers and the good rise into the ether surrounding you, comforting you, and inspiring you with each breath that you take.” Perhaps I have found my true calling: greeting card author.
But Fearless Compassion. Yes. That’s what I want to strive for. I want to strive for other things as well – focusing on what I’m doing in life without always questioning and doubting. I want to strive to be in the moment, to live “right,” as a person and an actor. I know that sounds goofy “a person and an actor” but it works for me right now. And Fearless Compassion applies to all of it. Towards other others, towards myself, situations and the world. So that’s what I will strive for and perhaps help others to do that.
Here’s what I’ve come to realize, I feel like I am my best when I am acting AND when I am listening to people and helping them feel better. Do you see the connection? Both require attention and focus on another. Both demand listening. I think I’m pretty good at that. I often wonder if I wasn’t bitten by the actor bug if I would be a good therapist. Well, I don’t really wonder, I know it. My own therapist said it … of course what kind of therapist would he be if he said “you would be a horrible therapist?” And I know that this desire to helped is linked with my own self-valuation, meaning that I do still look to others to give me personal value. And I’m working on that. But if I can help someone just by listening, if I can give comfort by understanding, and if that give me comfort – what’s wrong with that? Nothing. That’s the answer I’m looking for. Nothing.
But fearless compassion … what does that mean to me? I guess that means trying to understand and not judge, no matter how hard the circumstance may be. And I know, you may be reading this (and by you I mean “me” cause I’m sure no one is reading this) and wondering how this relates to my previous post about Buddhism Plain & Simple. Yes, this is not an account of what I’m reading, but it is related. Buddhism, in my understanding, focuses on “seeing” and not judging. It requires an acceptance that we are all connected. It’s easy to judge a situation and a person. It’s harder to be compassionate towards the person. To be forgiving or at least understanding (since who are we to forgive unless the trespass was committed against us?). Isn’t that what that Jesus fella was talking about? So maybe that’s what I’m trying to do, be more like that Jesus fella … I already have the long hair and the beard. I do need to drop a couple more pounds I think. And I’d prefer not to have to die for people’s sins, I’d rather live and listen and help them cope. Or at least put on a moving and brilliant performance that helps people. But it all starts with Fearless Compassion.
At least that’s what I’m going with.