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Clarity

Love

Compassion

We find these three words throughout sacred texts and works of wisdom from all paths throughout time and across the globe.    Sometimes it is referred to as “hands, heart and mind”, “truth, beauty and goodness” or “thinking, feeling, and willing” and sometimes, simply as “three folding”.  It is all the same.  These are just different names for the three corners every being on this planet must find and strengthen within themselves, to become harmonious.   Once harmony is achieved a transformation will occur (which I talk about in my blog, Sacred Geometry).  This is the transformation that creates the space within you for your ultimate reality to become manifest.

Every individual has these three essential elements that are intrinsic to them and yet every being has one or two of these corners that they are working on healing or finding in this lifetime.  Usually one or two areas will be more present or will be heightened to compensate for the deficit in another area.  Identifying your areas of strength will lead you to your area of work, your missing corner.  Once you have identified your missing corner you will start to see why you have attracted certain situations into your life and why you are affected by situations differently than others.

Some believe that we are all born without any corners and that we learn them all after birth.  First, unconditional love shown to us by our parents from the first moment they lay eyes on us after birth, next is compassion shown to us by our family, community, teachers and friends when we are still young children.  The last is clarity demonstrated for us by our parents, teachers or friends who provide for our basic needs and who guide us toward adulthood usually between the ages of 14 to 21. Others believe that we are born whole, with all three corners but lost one after birth.  I am not sure which is true.  Which came first, the birth or the deficit.  I suspect that at one time in human evolution we were all born whole and lost a corner as we experienced life in all its messiness and suffering, but at this time in our evolution children seem to be coming into the world with sensitivities and different needs at an alarming and increasing rate.  For some years I was the Director of Admissions for an independent school.  It was noted by the faculty that the teachers are noticing children in younger and younger grades with processing disorders and other physical manifestations of dis-harmony.  We may never know if pregnancy, birthing and early childhood environments are influencing earlier deficits or if children are being born with the deficit, but I am certain that there is an acceleration of inner dis-harmony in the current generation.

Now of course, not everyone is so fortunate to have all these qualities shown to them and demonstrated for them throughout their childhood and adolescence.  And certainly if we are born whole there is plenty of opportunity to become unbalanced in clarity, love and/or compassion.  Think of the baby who is rejected at birth or whose parents die while they are young.  This child may feel cut off from un-conditional love and it may take a life time for this being to realize that they have the capacity for un-conditional love within them.  I will describe in greater detail some common circumstances and situations that contribute to a being with each of the deficits that I believe we are all trying to heal within our selves and in the macrocosm of humanity.  I describe the deficits as either love deficit (fear), compassion deficit (greed) or clarity deficit (ignorance).  See if you can find yourself in one of these descriptions.

Think of the child who is ridiculed and made fun of, teased or bullied without remorse or compassion ever being shown to them.  This child will not be able to truly emulate compassion for others and may draw circumstances to themselves in their adult life that create the situation for them to receive and be shown compassion.  I call this compassion deficit.

Think of the child whose parents go through a divorce rocking the child’s sense of security or  maybe whose parents are incarcerated or for some other reason cannot provide for them, perhaps changing homes and jobs frequently never having clarity about what to do.  Sometimes these children will become clear and take on the parental role but some of these children will themselves lack a certain amount of clarity and lack confidence in their own ability to follow a certain path or do the right thing.   These are the clarity deficit beings among us.

Think of the child who had suffered the loss of a parent in death.  The loss of a loved one especially at a young age can create a shutting off of the heart space a defecit in the ability to love unconditionally.  These children will certainly be able to access love through compassion because they have survived a loss so devestating that they will have a heightened sense of compassion for others in similar circumstance but love by itself will be more difficult for them to access.

Now I’m going to go out on a limb and say that none of these circumstances happened by accident.  Imagine if you will that you are in a school, a life school here on earth and that the experiences that you have had are intentional.  The life school sets up the situations needed to sever you from your connection to the area that needs your attention for you to work on it directly in this lifetime.  Now, am I saying that a higher power caused you to be abused or neglected or to experience great pain or sorrow?  Well yes and no.  Some pain and sorrow are certainly part of a bigger plan for our lives, without challenges we would not experience growth.  Some pain and suffering however is not planned for us, it is the result of individuals who are themselves separated from a corner of love,  compassion or clarity  and who can cause unnecessary pain or suffering for another.  All these painful experiences that separate us from our clarity, love or compassion need to be healed whether they were intended for us or not.

When you have clarity, you may take it for granted, you can’t really understand people who do not have it.  You might for some time assume that everyone has it, only to find that some will admire you for having it.  Then you may think yourself smarter, special or more talented.  As another example, if you do not have compassion but you see that quality in others, you are able to wonder about that thing that you do not possess and only from the perspective of not having it can you try to know it and reach for it.  At first you may think that persons who express compassion are not wise or are overly generous and certainly some of them are, but it may also be that you do not yet value that quality because you do not possess it.  From this place of not knowing it you will have a greater opportunity to know it better than the one who has had it all along.  You will appreciate it more when you find it and you will never take it for granted.

Imagine everyone is a slice of their soul that has been manifest into being.  Picture a soul like a mandala and you are a pie slice of that mandala.  Your slice is an individuality (you) that feels separate and alone but really is connected to the whole entire mandala of your soul, this we call the “higher self”. The soul will over time incarnate and re-incarnate different manifestations of parts of itself to work on different areas and in this way will perfect the whole mandala one section and one lifetime at a time.  Your work in this lifetime is to identify your individuality’s corners, to heal that area that is less developed or that was cut off from your awareness.  When you do this, you become harmonious and your soul experiences healing.  This healing benefits not only you in this lifetime but also past and future incarnations of your soul as other individualities in other lifetimes.

As an individual person with a feeling of separateness, it will be your task in this lifetime to identify your deficit area, your missing corner and perfect it. To do this you will need to nurture your connection with your soul through mindfulness and meditation and use the other two areas to lead you toward awareness of your deficit.  Your stronger areas will also help you compensate for your deficit while you work on it.  You will find that others will connect with you and bump up against you who have opposite strengths/deficits, these are your partners and teachers in this process and you are theirs.  Some will have a repelling affect and others an attracting affect.

When you have perfected your missing corner, your area of work in this lifetime you will more easily align with your entire soul and the feeling of aloneness will dissipate as you will begin to become seamless with your soul and feel a connection with all of life.

Each of us strive to have a balance of clarity, love and compassion but we know we are not perfect when we run into fear or greed which comes in many forms as envy, panic, anger, jealousy.  These are symptoms that we have a missing corner and our higher self is asking us to notice and work on it.

MEDITATION: Imagine that you are a flat triangular shape of paper, an equilateral triangle.  Imagine, we are each like a piece of origami paper that must be folded in a certain way and in a certain order for a perfect 3-dimensional form to appear.  Now imagine that on your bottom left corner is love, your heart resides there.  Hold a mental image of a heart on your left hand.  Hold your hands out from your side as though the top of your head is the top of the triangular paper and your left hand is the left corner of the triangle.  On the bottom right corner is compassion picture two hands cupped together as a symbol of compassion residing there where your right hand is and at the top corner of your triangle exists clarity, picture a crown at the top on your head.  We all want to reach the crown, to reach a place of clarity of knowing.  The perfect way for our paper to fold is for the bottom corners to both meet first in the middle and then from the place where love and compassion meet the edges of our triangle can come together to connect the bottom corners in a straight line toward the top corner.  Love and compassion together meet clarity. Once this happens we transform into something new, something that is no longer flat, something that is a new 3-dimensional form. Bring your two hands together at the level of your waste and then bring them up through your center in the prayer hand position.  Notice that your elbows are down, relax your shoulders and notice that you feel no fear or greed, also notice in this position your relationship to peace and clarity.  Now notice that your love (heart on your left hand) and compassion (cupped hands symbolically on your right hand) are together.  Now as you bring your hands back down to your sides resuming the triangle position keep them faced out as a symbol of healing and feel your heart space radiating as unconditional-love (both love and compassion together) Sleep on this one, it may take a few days to seep in.  Keep contemplating – you’ll know when you’ve got it – it will hit you like lightening.

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If we try to reach clarity without first bringing love and compassion together at the bottom we remain imperfect, out of harmony.  Love cannot meet clarity first without compassion nor compassion first without love – if it does the clarity we find will lack the warmth of wisdom and others will be skeptical of our clarity.  Others may pick up on hints of fear or greed in our expressions of clarity.  If we start from our heart in our left corner and reach up to clarity we can sort of get there but as we reach, we over shoot and end up with only our bottom corner off to our right side somewhere slightly off between clarity and compassion.   Imagine folding the triangular paper from one corner toward the top/crown.  You’ll end up pointing at your shoulder.  The same happens if we fold up toward clarity from only our right corner, we can overshoot and end up with our right corner slightly off the left side.  Now imagine that there are two devils sitting on your shoulders, one is red (anger and fear) on your left shoulder and the other is green (greed and envy) on your right shoulder.

The problem with folding out of order is that in the space off to our right side, between compassion and clarity exists greed and envy.  In the space, off to our left side between love and compassion exists fear, fear of death and anger which is also a form of fear.  All anger is really fear.  And all fear stems from a fear of death.  Only when we bring love and compassion together at the bottom of our triangle can we reach clarity by connecting through the center of our triangle, thus avoiding the spaces of either fear or greed.  By folding in this way, with love and compassion meeting first we can reach clarity in a warm way that radiates wisdom.

Consciousness, mindfulness is the grounding force, literally the ground beneath our feet that keeps us centered and focused on doing what is right.  It helps us fold inward toward the middle at the bottom of our triangle and keeps us from reaching up toward clarity pre-maturely.  That keeps us from over-shooting off the edges to those places where fear and greed reside

The truth of the matter is that very few people on the planet are in a state of harmony.  Most individuals are striving for harmony or worse striving for clarity in an unbalanced way.  This is not a bad thing, this is what it is to be an imperfect human.  It is actually a good thing.  Looking at our imperfection, our mis-formed origami paper can lead us to seeing where our corners are mis-aligned and it can show us that which we were not so aware of, that which we have a hard time finding.  It can help us find our hidden corner, re-fold our paper and achieve harmony.  See if you resonate with one of these descriptions and thus identify your hidden corner.  Knowing where to start is the first step on the path toward transformation.

Love deficit (more detail)

This is me and my youngest daughter.  I am love defecit.  I should say, I am a recovering love-defecit human being.  I know that love is my lost corner, the area I am working on in this lifetime.  What does love defecit look like?

  1. Early experiences of loss of love from parents
  2. Overly developed sense of compassion
  3. Gives freely especially to children, the elderly or disabled
  4. Frequent feelings of fear, fear of death and/or feelings of anger
  5. Lacking in kindness and patience toward those who are not deserving of compassion
  6. Can have a strong sense of clarity but trouble getting others to follow
  7. Can have a tendency toward controlling self or environment

To begin with I experienced the loss of my father when I was very young.  That created a great wound for me in the area of my heart.  I think many people who are working on love have experienced death of a loved one at a young age.  I also was raised in a fundamentalist religion that would ex-communicate anyone who did not follow their rules.  This was a community who taught only conditional love.

Second, I had a well-developed, maybe even overly developed sense of compassion.  My oldest sister became sick at the age of three with polio.  She was disformed and suffered greatly in her adult life from the damage to her body from polio.  Of all my siblings, I was the one who took on the role of caregiver in the biggest way.  From the age of 19 until she died when I was in my early 30s I was her primary caregiver.  She was frequently hospitalized, she lived with a permanent tracheotomy and required oxygen to breathe.  She had a hard time walking and gave up driving when I was in my early 20s.  I did her laundry, her shopping, helped organize her care during the day when I was at work and spent much of my free time with her since she was home bound for the last few years of her life.  I organized my life around her care; I stayed in my hometown after high school so I could be close to her.  I never took a job farther from her house than I could travel to and from on a lunch break.  I convinced my husband to take a second mortgage on our home to buy her a duplex where she could live with a live-in nurse and have the mortgage supported by a tenant in the adjoining unit.  She wasn’t the only one, after she passed, I was forever helping others, lending money, forgiving debts and buying gifts for friends and acquaintances for whom I felt compassion.  I donated money to charities and had to really stop myself from giving away all my money to homeless or needy people.  I would give my house key out liberally to any friend who needed a place to stay and even convinced my husband that my ex-husband should sleep on our couch or be given work when he was in between jobs.  I never asked my ex-husband to pay any child support because I had compassion for his children with his new love interest and didn’t want them to suffer.  You get it, I had compassion.  But not love.  I thought I had love but I did not.  I wasn’t particularly patient or kind.  I rarely sent a thank you note to anyone. I had a hard time receiving gifts, it made me uncomfortable.  My cards, letters and emails to loved ones and friends were direct, to the point and not overly warm.

The last clue that pointed me to love being my missing corner was that I lived with a lot of fear.  I had a huge fear of death.  I feared that everyone I loved would die.  That kept me from really loving anyone.  Even the thought of loving my children would evoke strong feelings of fear of death.  I could have been one of those overly cautious parents who wraps their kids in safely gear and never lets them so much as walk on a log, curb or climb a tree.  I could have carried hand sanitizer with me everywhere I went but I knew that getting dirty and walking on logs and climbing trees was good for kids, it certainly was good for me growing up.  And so, I became a parent who guarded my heart carefully, who stayed practical and kept my emotions of love at an arms length.  Sub-consciously I didn’t want to become too attached because deep inside I feared that if I loved them too much, they might die.  I am the parent who over-compensates for my Love Deficit by taking the kids to Disneyland, letting them order dessert for dinner at a restaurant or buying them lots of toys and clothes.  I am motivated by placing myself in their shoes and perceiving the joy they will receive from these acts of generosity.

I started to recognize that fear was over whelming for me and I started to consciously let go of fear.  Whenever I feel angry, I say to myself, if anger is really fear, what am I afraid of?  I would slowly start to find my way through the things that anger me or cause me fear and to identify when my childhood wounds were re-opened and this led me to my missing corner.  The behaviors that others found difficult about me, I would notice and follow those to identify my wounds around my father’s death.  Whenever that wound would be re-opened from a situation at work or in a social group I would really contemplate it.  It took me a long time to really come to the realization that I had no heart, that I did not know how to love, unconditionally.  I had plenty of compassion but if I didn’t feel compassion for you, I could not have any positive feeling toward you. In this way compassion was a form of conditional love.  I had left my heart with my father and with the religion of my childhood.  I knew that leaving the religion meant leaving the last connection I had with my father and so I had to decide, move forward or stay and be in-authentic.  I decided to move forward but left my heart there with my father.

Now of course I still wanted clarity.  I had compassion and I strived for clarity.  I was able to achieve a great deal of clarity.  I have a certain gift of seeing how things are related and how things can move in a forward direction despite any odds.  But when one reaches for clarity with out the balance between love and compassion other negative traits can result that are reflections of the imbalance, the dis-harmony.  Being controlling is one of those negative traits.  And in the case of compassion reaching for clarity without love, fear and anger are very real emotions that can come in.

Compassion Deficit (more detail)

This is my husband and my oldest daughter.  They are Compassion Deficit.  I should say, they are recovering compassion-deficit human beings.  It is easy to see that compassion was my husband’s lost corner, the area he is working on in this lifetime.  What does Compassion Deficit look like?

  1. Early experiences of lack of compassion from parents, friends, teachers
  2. Loves everyone but does not feel sorry for anyone
  3. Frequent feelings of envy or lack
  4. Easily motivated by money or acquisition of material possessions
  5. Rarely buys life insurance
  6. Lacking in generosity toward those who are needy
  7. Can have a strong sense of clarity but trouble getting others to cooperate
  8. Can have a tendency toward controlling self or environment, hoarding

To begin with he was born with a heart condition that caused him to be very aware of his heart beat.  It also slowed him down since his heart naturally beat at half the pace of everyone else.  That created a great need for compassion that he never received since his condition was not well understood.  I think many people who are working on compassion have experienced a lack of compassion.  My daughter has never had the ability to put herself in other people’s shoes, she does not naturally have compassion, we say she is self-centric.  This is a trait that my husband also identifies with.

Second, he has a well-developed, feeling of love. People like him, he is nice, kind and patient.  He would never think of buying anyone a gift unless I reminded him or arranged the purchase for him.  He does not open his home up to guests unless it is to have a party where he gets to be the center of attention and surrounded by friends.  When I convinced my husband to take a second mortgage on our home to buy my disabled sister a duplex where she could live with a live-in nurse and have the mortgage supported by a tenant in the adjoining unit I had to persuade him that it would be a good investment and that he would not only be doing a good thing which everyone would love about him but he would profit financially in the long run.  Loving and being loved are very important to him.  As is wealth and the accumulation of material possessions.  He wanted me to be happy and he liked the idea of owning multiple properties, so he agreed.  He was agreeable and would do things to make me happy.  I once sent him to Montana to help a friend of mine move back to Los Angeles with her four kids and five cats.  I’m pretty sure he cursed me the whole way, but he did it because he was nice, not because he cared about my friend or her plight.

When we first moved in together, he had a really hard time giving me the key to his house, he wasn’t a naturally giving person.  I would give my house key out liberally to any friend who wanted to use our pool or who needed a place to stay.  When I convinced my husband that my ex-husband should sleep on our couch and be given work when he was in between jobs.  My husband only agreed because he thought he was getting cheap labor and because he wanted to be nice and agreeable, but it wasn’t easy for him, he had no compassion for my ex.  I never asked my ex-husband to pay any child support because I had compassion for his children with his new love interest and didn’t want them to suffer.  My husband liked being the provider but didn’t share my concern for my ex-husbands new children.  He admired me for being so caring, a trait he did not naturally have. You get it, he had love but not compassion.  He thought he had compassion, but he did not.  He was nice, patient and kind but he could be judgmental of a homeless person and make fun of a fat person without any regard for their challenges and difficulties.

The last clue that pointed him to compassion being his missing corner was that no matter how much we had, it was never enough.  He felt entitled, he was envious of what other people had and let greed get the best of him many times.  He attracted a situation into his life that really showed him this corner.  He suddenly and unexpectedly lost his high paying job of 17 years.  He didn’t look for a new job right away because he thought a job would land in his lap, he continued to spend lavishly until all our substantial savings was exhausted.  He had to sell his beloved BMW and we had my best friend move in to help pay the mortgage.  For the first time he understood how a person could lose everything.  He received much compassion from friends and family.  I think many people who are Compassion Deficit attract situations into their lives that will show them what compassion looks like.  After trying to conceive for years we finally got pregnant, with two successive daughters, the first same month that he found a new job in his same industry paying more than what he earned before and the second daughter 14 months later.  He was already a step-father to my son which took a lot of love but having children of his own started him on his path of developing compassion.  These were his children, I didn’t let him of the hook for their care one bit.  I had already raised one child, mostly on my own.  Now he had to take care of these babies, change their diapers when they were dirty and feed them when they were hungry.  These chores required more than love, they required compassion.    I think for many people who are Compassion Deficit having children can start them on the path of finding their missing corner.   Soon after our second daughter was born his best friend since high school, who happened to be married to my sister with two children of their own died suddenly of leukemia.  Now we had not only a teenager and two babies, but we also had our two nephews who were also under the age of 5 at our house frequently since my sister’s job would take her out of town for work about one week a month.  His opportunities for developing compassion were becoming innumerable.

He started to recognize that envy and materialism were over whelming him, and he started to consciously let go of things and stuff, realizing that family is what is most important.  He sold the BMW and got a minivan and then later an electric vehicle.  He ran into more situations that challenged his materialism, his father died and then his grandmother, but all their wealth was transferred to his step mom who did not have a good relationship with him.  After struggling to keep up with mounting childcare costs, private school and a large mortgage, we were forced to sell our entertainers house with the pool.   This taught him that it doesn’t matter where we live or how nice the neighborhood is, all that matters are that we are together.

The last clue that he was compassion deficit lied in his habits.  He was a smoker.  Nothing could convince him that he should quit, he loved himself too much to put that kind of pressure on himself and he certainly did not have any concern for what might happen to me if he should die.  He never worried about having life insurance, he said “I’ll be dead, I won’t need that money.” Fortunately for me, life insurance is something I know a great deal about.  Not until his children were born and he experienced the loss of his best friend and father did he start to contemplate what it would be like for us if he did not live a long and healthy life.  This is when he realized he was Compassion-Deficit and that he needed to work on that corner.

Now he, like me always strives for clarity.  He has love and he strives for clarity.  He was able to achieve a great deal of clarity.  He has had a very successful technical career in Hollywood and has a proven track record for designing complex systems and solving problems.  However, like everyone who reaches for clarity without the balance between love and compassion other negative traits can result that are reflections of the imbalance, the dis-harmony.  Being controlling is one of those negative traits.  And in the case of love reaching for clarity without compassion, envy, greed and materialism are also very real desires that can come in.  Unlike some of my previous partners he has very particular thoughts on how we should decorate our home, how the pets should be cared for, how the landscaping and gardening should be managed, even how the sheets should be tucked in at the foot of the bed.   We are a couple who both have clarity and so quarreling, and negotiating were a large part of our relationship before we transformed.

Clarity Deficit (more detail)

The Clarity Deficit people can also be either Love or Compassion Deficit.  Usually for these people one (love or compassion) has not over compensated for the other.  They may have both in small quantities or they may not have either.  Perhaps they have tried to reach for clarity but cannot get past the fear or anger or greed and envy and have given up.   Fear and anger can sometimes present as anxiety which can be debilitating.  Perhaps they have given up clarity and are relying on their parents, girlfriend or other caregiver to make decisions for them.  Co-dependent.  Some will even turn to alcohol or drugs, embracing the ultimate state of lack of clarity.  Being controlling is a side effect of reaching for clarity from an imbalanced position.  Perhaps they have become so controlling that they suffer from OCD or other conditions that keep them in a state of confusion.  Some people give up on clarity because from their imbalanced state it is too hard to achieve, they resign themselves to a state of confusion.  A negative dialogue can develop in our thoughts to provide our ego with an excuse for not achieving clarity, I’m stupid, I’m too poor, my childhood was too hard, I was wronged by this or that and on and on our thoughts go making excuses for our inability to easily achieve clarity.

I have also noticed that both Love and Compassion Deficit people can have some developmental signs of their deficit, generally the right brain will be weaker than the left brain for Love Deficit and the Left brain weaker for Compassion Deficit.  There is a whole body of work on right and left-brain imbalances and the syndromes and learning challenges that children and adults can exhibit as a result.  Brain Balance Centers based on this research are popping up all over the country.  Dr. Robert Melillo has written two books, Disconnected Kids and Reconnected Kids that focuses on the physical and developmental challenges that can result from a brain hemisphere imbalance.

These are the keys I have found to unlock love and compassion:

Truth

Forgiveness

Gratitude

Using these keys requires strength for the key of gratitude is a heavy one.  Bravery for the key of forgiveness is like a sharp sword.  Courage for the truth is not always welcomed.  If you start with courage for the truth, it will be easier to bravely forgive and then you will find the strength to wield the heavy key of gratitude which unlocks those elusive corners of love and compassion.

In those moments when someone or some situation has bumped up against you.  When you feel negative emotions like anger, frustration, fear or anxiety rising within you, this is when you need to find the key to unlock love and compassion which will ultimately lead you to true clarity.  Contemplate how you can evaluate the truth of the situation, forgive those who you blame and have gratitude for the situation or person who is causing you the negative emotion. This is not easy. This is an exercise in courage, bravery and strength. Ask yourself, how, in this difficult situation with this challenging person, can I be grateful?  It’s not to say that the situation is not difficult or challenging – it is. It is to ask yourself, how can I take this lemon and make lemon-aid?    Ask yourself how will this situation help me to learn something, to grow in some way or how will it cause me to become a better person?  Once you find the place of gratitude, hold on to it.  Do not allow your thoughts to slip back to anger, frustration, fear or anxiety.  Stay with the thought of gratitude until you can come to a place of love or compassion for the person or situation.  Practice this.  Imagine someone cuts you off in traffic.  You feel angry.  Ask yourself what is true?  Did this person intentionally cut me off, do they know me?  Was it personal?  Or, are they driving without caution and with disregard to whom they cut off?  Once you realize it was not personal you gain perspective that reduces the anger you are feeling.  Next ask yourself if you can forgive this person who cut you off?  Realizing they are a person who may be experiencing any number of possible reasons for driving in the way that they are.  Continue trying to find a place of forgiveness for this fellow human being who just did something dangerous, maybe even find a place of empathy for this person that they are in a place in their life that has caused them to be reckless.  Now ask, how can I be grateful that I was just cut off?  Think about your reflexes and how you avoided an accident by becoming present. Perhaps you can be grateful to the driver who cut you off for keeping you in the present and for strengthening your reflexes to make you a better driver.  Do this exercise every time you feel anger, fear or anxiety coming up within you.  If it helps, write these prompts on a piece of paper and keep it with you.  Truth (be courageous), forgiveness (be brave), gratitude (be strong).  Only those who are angry, frustrated, fearful or anxious are weak.  Those who can rise above these emotions are strong.

If you disagree with someone, reflect on what is true.  Take yourself out of your perspective and imagine what truth is from all perspectives.  Ask if what the other believes could be true for them.  Remember the story of the elephant.  If you can find what is true through imagining a different perspective, it will be easier to agree to disagree and then you can forgive and be grateful for the sharing of different perspectives.

Restorative Justice is a practice that helps people to come together in this way.  To find what is true between them, to first take responsibility for any wronging or hurt you have caused and then be forgiven and be grateful for the opportunity to heal the wound.  Once the scales of justice can become balanced, love and compassion can be brought together to align with clarity to create a harmonious space.

In the most challenging of situations, those that really test our ability to forgive and find gratitude, a regular meditation practice to center yourself, become grounded in your own truth and to connect with your higher self will bring you the courage, bravery and strength you will need to find the key of gratitude to unlock the situation.  Bravery, courage and strength are required on this journey. If you succeed you will be a hero!

In many cases, the situations that caused us to separate from the area we each need to work on (clarity, love or compassion) are with us as wounds in this lifetime. For me I have a wound that I have carried with me since childhood.  My father died in a tragic accident when I was just six years old.  My father was my warm and loving parent, the one who was kind and giving.  I felt safe when I was with him and I trusted that the world was good when he was alive.  I did not know a lack of warmth, safety or generosity until after his untimely death.  Then after he died I was shown compassion.  I didn’t actively recognize that I was being shown compassion, but I was.  Every member of our community, every teacher in school, every parent of a friend showed me compassion for my loss.  I also recognized those who could not show me compassion, those who felt uncomfortable acknowledging my loss or who avoided me.  As I got older when I came across another person who had experienced death, I knew what they felt like and I did not shy away from talking with them about what they were experiencing or from comforting them.  These wounds were necessary for me to have the perspective I needed to see love and compassion differently than before. Without this perspective of separateness, I could not really work on the area of love or compassion because I could not see it- it was intrinsic with me.  Just like we cannot really see the earth when we are standing upon it, only from the perspective of space can we see that it is a sphere suspended in the universe. Working on healing your wounds and recognizing when they have been re-opened will be a sort of road map that will guide you to recognize a person or challenging situation that is providing us with the opportunity to heal or strengthen our area of work and from this recognition we can find gratitude for the people and situations that challenge us.

This work opens the door for us to move beyond ego, blame, resentment and anger to do the inner work that is being asked of us in this lifetime.  Only by strengthening our capacity for love and for compassion and bringing these two together first in balance will we experience the creation of the space within from which all things are possible.  You’ll know when it happens – its powerful.

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