CrisisOfCompassionI have been feeling like I am being tested! Of course, this testing is courtesy of the Universe. I don’t normally like to view my life lessons as a test. In fact most of the time, even when I am moving through a situation that is uncomfortable, I believe it is happening ‘for’ me, not ‘to’ me. So this feeling of being tested, usually indicates I am feeling like a martyr or victim.

Yuck.., Being a martyr or victim never feels good, once you recognize it. But, whenever I get caught up in feeling like I am being tested; I know to look here first.

Friday night Annie Bossingham lead/channeled an event at the store. Really it was an introduction to a two-day event they will be doing here in Phoenix next month on navigating the paradigm shift that is happening all around us. There were so many aspects we covered that I can’t wait to go deeper with. But the one that seemed the most timely for what I am experiencing right now was the ‘Crisis of Compassion’.

They broke down compassion into three parts: love, intimacy, and caring. As a part of a response to a question about how to work with the challenges around compassion; they said to look at each situation and see where we are at with these three components … And we would start to see how to shift those energies.

When I think about my current situation where I feel I am being tested… I realize that my sense of compassion is in crisis too.

My mother, Ruthie lives with us. We built a guesthouse for her almost nine years ago, so it is just a few yards from our back door to hers. And it has been a real treat having her here. I had not lived near my parents (or any of my siblings for that matter) since I was 19.

At the same time, she has been through a lot since she got here. Open heart surgery, followed by another event that permanently damaged 60% of her heart, leading to eventually having a defibrillator that works a bit like a pacemaker, implanted in her chest.

And for the past year she has been dealing with memory loss from dementia. She is still very alert and aware. She recognizes us, but her short term memory is challenged and that is very disorienting for her. She no longer drives, and I take care of her finances and medications. It’s all fine, and at the same time.., it is hard.

She is declining. And for me…, I never imagined myself as a caretaker. A provider yes.., but caring for another; not so much.

This past week she has fallen three times. One time lead to a 7hour visit to the ER for a sprained foot. Immediately this changed from a “keeping your eyes on mom” to “taking care of mom”. It went from oversight to emersion in her life. And I have been freaking out a bit.

Sometimes I can’t help but feel tested. Which leads to feeling guilty about my resistance to even having to do this in the first place. This is where a review of the components of compassion comes into play.

I have no doubt about the love I have for my mother. She is probably the best example of “opposites attract” in my life. Our world views could not have been more different! And yet, by living with each other, we discovered that we were never that far apart and from the perspective of love.., those differences never mattered anyway.

Caring is pretty easy too. Mom is someone who is easy to care about. She is a character for sure, but a very sweet one. With her New England accent and a knack for story telling and self-deprecating humor; she is easy to be with and to care for.

However when I think about intimacy. I can feel the rub. I didn’t really ever want to look to deeply at her finances. However, that is easy compared to dressing her or getting her into the bathroom. I have officially seen more of my mother than I ever wanted to see.

But that is not even the real challenge with intimacy. It is looking at her morbidity and her mortality that is hard. It is watching someone you love and care for decline with both age and illness. It is witnessing her struggle to stay motivated to fight for health and vitality that she feels slipping away. It is watching her independence slip away and what that does to her.

I am not being tested. I am being invited to be a part of the journey of life that is the precursor to death. And the truth is this demands an even deeper level of intimacy than I ever imagined. Who knows how long this journey will be and what it will require? But what I know right now is by allowing more Love, Caring and Intimacy in our lives…versus resisting them., we are all helping to heal the Crisis of Compassion. And that is a good thing!

With Light, Love, and Laughter
Charles

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