Saturday, January 22, 2011

know thyself

(yes, he really does sleep like that)

Compassion for the other comes out of our ability to accept ourselves. Until we realize both our own weaknesses and our own privileges, we can never tolerate lack of status and depth of weakness in the other.

Joan Chittister

Hard work. Knowing one's own light and shadow. One's own privilege and oppression. Knowing these brings us closer to that oneness I've been talking about.

We've all got it all. And when we figure that out, we will be able to sleep like HoneyBoy--feathers up. Vulnerable and safe...all at once.

The Beloved surrounds the beloved.



Deb Shucka said...

Isn't it interesting that it always comes down to loving ourselves, all of ourselves, first. I've never seen a cat who even considered the possibility that they weren't perfect. :-)

This picture makes me want to bury my face in his belly.

Carrie Link said...

The Beloved surrounds the beloved. Love that.

kario said...

So true.
So simple.
So difficult to remember sometimes.
Thanks for the reminder.

Kathryn Grace said...

It took several minutes, but I think I begin to understand Chittister here--the part about tolerating "lack of status and depth of weakness" in others.

When I was young, I was extremely judgmental (Some might say, "What do you mean, 'When I was young ... ?'"), especially toward the elderly. Now I'm much older, and can feel in my own bones the pain of another just by the way they walk, I have a totally different perspective. I'm more patient with both the judgmental young and the elderly.

Then there's my dad. Before his death, though it remained a struggle for me to the end, I developed some patience toward my father, whose personality and mine were often like grinding gears that could never mesh.

The more I age, the more I understand Dad's behaviors and attitudes. I had no frame of reference for his experience of life then. Since then, almost as though he taps me on the shoulder at just the right moment, increasingly I get it.

Thank you for giving me so much to think about today.