My 2018 Resolution: Finding Strength Through Compassion

This year has been filled with tragedy and triumph. I won’t take time to rehash the mass shootings, hate crimes, and sexual abuse revelations, not to mention natural disasters, locally and globally. There have been so many incidents that we’ve started to become numb to the collective pain. 

Tragedies and disasters have historically been a time when we open our hearts and come together. But is it possible that even tragedy is losing its benevolent side effects?  

How to open our heart without tragedy, heartbreak, or suffering. This is our collective work. 

A spiritual counselor once told me, “you keep coming to your heart through heartbreak.” This was following a painful break-up and she continued to explain that that is a choice that’s not necessary. 

My pattern had been only truly feeling my heart in times of heartbreak or through grief and loss. As I now enter a new union, it occurred to me that it’s time for a new way of opening my heart. Heartbreak is no longer a choice I want to make. I no longer need the contrast of pain to feel love. I choose expansion through compassion. 

Our heart is always available, so why is it that most of us choose the painful route? Do we not believe we are worthy of love and feel-goods otherwise? Is love not enough? Our ego says no. We border up our internal walls, until something breaks us down and forces us open.

This time of year we come the closest to finding a direct route to compassion. Even if for end-of-year write-offs, we give more. And whether for family obligation, we think of others more. As the days grow darker, we become still more. And even if unsettling, we feel more. 

This holiday season I challenge you to open more. Perhaps if we each find strength through compassion, instead of ego, we won’t need the escape clause though pain. This is my resolution for 2018.