Compassion is the ultimate and most meaningful embodiment of emotional maturity. It is through compassion that a person achieves the highest peak and deepest reach in his or her search for self-fulfillment. --Arthur Jersild
Being compassionate is similar to what we call support in this program. We get outside our own self-centered egos and care about someone beyond ourselves. In the process we are helped and changed - perhaps more than the person we are helping.
As we mature, we learn that not all help is beneficial. It is more helpful to confront a friend in his delusion than to accept his misguided actions. Such tough honesty supports his strength and his ability to work the Steps. Sometimes it is hard to be a friend to a man in great pain. We might prefer to pull away rather than be with him as he suffers, but we can be more compassionate if we accept our powerlessness to cure his pain. Compassion has a reverberating effect in relationships. Not only do we give it and grow from the experience, we also become the receivers of what we send out.
Today, I will practice compassion in my relationships.
From Touchstones: A Book of Daily Meditations for Men©
Keep It Simple
You grow up the day you have your first real laugh at yourself.---Ethel Barrymore
There was a time when we wouldn't let anyone laugh at us---even ourselves. We had to much shame. We had to much pain. We took the world too seriously. If we laughed it was at others---not at ourselves. Over time , real honest laughter returns to us. Laughter is a way of accepting ourselves as human. To be human means we can make mistakes. It means we can lighten up. It also means growing up. And growing up means being happy with all of who we are---even parts of us that may seem odd or funny. If we can't laugh at ourselves, we shut ourselves off from the world. We shut ourselves off from the parts of us we need to accept. Am I willing to accept the fact that I'm human.
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, You made laughter. Help me us it to make my life easier. Help me accept all of me a funny mistake I've made.
Action for the Day: Today, I'll share with someone close to me a funny mistake I've made.
Few people who have ever had a hangover could forget
how unreasonably irritable it makes you feel.
Sometimes, we took it out on family members, fellow workers, friends,
or strangers who certainly had not earned our displeasure.
That tendency can hang around awhile after we start staying sober,
the way wraiths of stale smoke do in a closed-up barroom,
reminding us of drinking days -- until we do a good mental housecleaning.
- Living Sober, p.22
Thought to Ponder . . .
Anger is the wind that blows out the light of reason.
AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
A A = Avoid Anger
The more you try to please everybody, the less you’ll be able to benefit anybody. If you worry constantly about what others will think, you’ll sabotage your greatest accomplishments before they even get started.
Be kind, compassionate, thoughtful and considerate. Yet don’t be a slave to the opinions of others.
By all means, hold yourself to the highest standards. Just be sure they are truly your standards, and not merely fears about what others may think.
Live and act true to what you know is right, and appropriate, and valuable. Follow your heart, your desires, your intuition and your own authentic dreams.
Listen to the criticism and advice, and learn from it. But don’t let it dissuade you or delay you from doing what you know you must.
You can achieve whatever you choose if you’ll just have the confidence and persistence to see it all the way through. Whatever others might say or think, create the great value that is yours to create.
— Ralph Marston