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Saturday, January 9, 2010

One Little Word

Photo by G-Square

Sara over at Mammacraft has a lovely post all about how she chooses one word that sets the tone for her year and it got me thinking. Thinking about what my word might be and how, if I choose it well, it might help me to remember to breathe and to let go when things are getting tough.

I had to think about it for a little while. So many great words popped into my head like LOVE or PATIENCE (sorely needed) or SURRENDER, which, lets face it, is the word that haunts me like the ghost of Greyfriars Bobby. It is my LIFE word. But in the end I chose COMPASSION, which is a lofty word but also a simple, easily understood one.

I am not as compassionate as I would have thought. In delving into the meaning of this word ('awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it.'), and what I think it can bring to my awareness this year, I realised it had the potential to be truly transforming. I also realised that the two people who needed my compassion the most are the same two people who receive it least often - my beautiful Beanie-girl me and me. And that was both surprising and terribly obvious.

I am aware of my own suffering, some of it needless - a case of suffering over my suffering if you will. I am acutely aware of my daughter's suffering, even though she is not and aware that I am the cause of much of it, even when I try so hard not to be. I am aware of every mistake made and every wrong choice. What I need to be aware of is every right choice made, every kind word, every good decision and every time I get it right, as opposed to so very, very wrong. What I need to be aware of is her smile, her curiosity and her unbelievable awe at the world and allow myself to be more often humbled by them. I need to remember that there is no time for us but now and that I can't afford to waste even a second of it because it will never come again. Hence compassion. When I am angry or frustrated, if I can breathe and unclench and remember that I am, fundamentally, a being of love and grace, then maybe I can bite my tongue before I lash out verbally. If I can remember to be compassionate with myself, then maybe I won't be so bitter about my mistakes or so ruthless with my imperfections. If I can remember to be compassionate to my child, then maybe I won't take everything so personally and I will stop trying to escape from the 'what is' in favour of the 'what I wish was'. A tall order I know, but then maybe I need a small but lofty emotional ambition this year because without it I fear I may drown.

I don't think that this word/heart journey will be easy. I have gotten so used to being hard on myself and my child that I know I will forget more than I remember. But I have hope. Hope of a change in the dynamic of our relationship to one of gentleness and tenderness instead of aggravation and struggle, because it is only a lack of awareness in the heated moments that prevents me from being the mother I long to be. And it is only my desire to change this that allows me to face each new day.

And so, I invite you to choose your word for the year and, if you want to, share it with me. You can do a link back to this post if you like and we can take a gentle little journey through all the simple words that touch our hearts and inspire our journeys.


Moonroot said...

I love this idea. Now all I need is a word...

Sara said...

A lovely words. We could all use a little more compassion.

Cheryl said...

What a wonderful idea and an excellent choice of compassion. I'm going to find a word and try this myself.

Griffin said...

Hmm, my word would most likely be Courage... cos I don't actually have much in how I live.

Compassion is really hard to do... especially when somebody REALLY annoys you! It's a lot easier to say/think of than to do.

Of course my word could just be Chocolate!

Whatever your word, I hope you have a great year... full of both chocolate and compassion!

Stacy (Mama-Om) said...

My word is nourish.

Finding nourishing rhythms, nourishing my soul, nourishing my kids, nourishing my marriage... Choosing activities that energize rather than deplete me. Finding ways to see the good in our experiences, accepting the cycle of life (dead matter nourishes the new)...

Something like that. :)

I wrote about it here:
The New Year

I love the photo you included with your post! And compassion is something I feel very passionately about.

Carin said...

Compassion. What a great word to choose. I do something similar to the one little word, I find myself a them for the year, and this time it was "be gentle with myself". I see similarities.

Thanks for your lovely comment on my new blog btw. I've been so bad at commenting here lately.

Cam said...

I feel this post...so simpatico.

My word is Nurture.

I want to remember to nurture those I love, myself, my creative energies, nurture nurture nurture... I love the way it sounds...