This is an incredible short discussion on forgiveness, with wonderful insights. It’s given me a lot to meditate over, on the road to empowerment and responsibility.
This is an incredible short discussion on forgiveness, with wonderful insights. It’s given me a lot to meditate over, on the road to empowerment and responsibility.
Lately I’ve been thinking about this concept, as I am doing a lot of reading and researching at the moment, and keep coming across this concept is a lot of Wicca/Witchcraft books. While I know that there are many traditions in Witchcraft that do not follow this concept, some do, as well as most (if not all) Wiccans, and it’s got the brain going, considering this concept more deeply and not just taking it for granted.
I don’t think I’ve ever really believed in this concept in the way that most believe. In the threefold law, in many, many sources it states that whatever you do will return to you threefold. In a very simplistic sense, if you do good things, good things will happen, and if you do bad things, bad things will happen. Many sources state that this is rule of karma.
I feel that this is a very odd Western misinterpretation of karma, for starters. As well, I know of plenty of instances and people who do good things, who go through the ringer, and plenty of people who do bad things, and don’t seem to suffer any consequences. (Trump, anyone?) Karma is not a system of reward and punishment. As well, the Hermetic principle of like attracting like can work in this instance, but not in the way that most people would believe. It’s not that simplistic. Note that I use the word simplistic, rather than simple, because there is a huge difference, at least in my opinion. Let me explain.
A lot of magic uses correspondences in order for success, according to the principle of “like attracts like”. This can also work in our daily lives, but it doesn’t mean that doing good things will make good things happen to you, or vice versa. We can’t control reactions to actions on that level. We can try and use magic to persuade a favourable outcome, and when combined with a good ethical stance this would be for the benefit of the whole. But there is a correlation.
I feel that when we do magic, or perform any sort of action whether on the physical or metaphysical level, we affect energy. This for me feels like a more appropriate definition of correspondence. That energy is not only external to us, but will affect us on three levels. Those levels are:
Let’s take an example of cursing someone. If we curse someone, we must be pretty pissed. That anger will have an effect on us at each of these three levels. We know that emotion, memory and other things can get stored in the body, creating tension, stress, high heart rates and more. As well, when we are angry our mental and emotional levels change, and we become the anger if we are not careful. When we become anger, we have lost our sense of self, our authentic being, and have allowed anger to take control. On a spiritual level, anger does not help us to commune with the world, the ancestors, spirits of place, deity or anything in a deeper level. In fact, it can be a great hindrance to it, as integration is at the heart of most spirituality and religion. In an earth-based tradition such as Wicca, Witchcraft or Druidry, where we believe that deity is immanent, this means that when we are angry and curse someone, we do not recognise the divinity within others. When we curse others, we are, in effect, cursing the gods too.
The popular interpretation of The Threefold Law to me feels more like a reward/punishment system to keep people in line, in an overly simplistic fashion. It requires people not to think too much about all the areas in between the concepts of “good” and “bad”, or even how those concepts are so relative to each person and their own experience. It also doesn’t acknowledge the deeper levels of meaning that can occur if we ponder this “rule” more closely. To me, it just seems too close to a heaven/hell concept, which I find too simplistic to give much attention to. Others may disagree, and I honour their perspective, but it just doesn’t work for me.
So, looking more deeply at The Threefold Law, if we do something bad, like cursing someone, then it could be said that on a certain level it comes back to us threefold, but not in the sense that seems to be very popular, ie. do good and good things happen, and vice versa. But if our actions are not honourable, and if we do things to harm other people, we are in turn harming ourselves, our environment, our gods: everything. Harming others causing suffering, both externally and also within in a threefold pattern: we harm our physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. We’ve lost that connection to everything else, that sense of integrity and integration.
If we curse someone, we affect ourselves physically by holding on to that anger. That affects us mentally, and if our curse does indeed work, might even lead us down the road to more cursing. This leads to a reinforcement of such behaviour, and also reinforces the anger within us, which will make us physically and mentally suffer more and more. We can often fall into a deep depression by holding onto this anger and feeding it, instead of seeing the positive in the world around us. We will become angry people. This all has an effect on us spiritually as well, for we have denied the existence of deity outside of ourselves. This severely limits our perspective of the world, and just continues an ever increasing downward spiral of behaviour that causes suffering both within and without.
So, the Threefold law can affect us in three different ways, but it’s not as simplistic as some would have you believe. It’s simple, yes, but not simplistic. Let’s not get the two muddled!
And, if in doubt, you can always follow this great maxim: don’t be a jerk.
An article by Sophie Dòbhran and Joanna van der Hoeven
As Druids, as Pagans, and also in the role of priestess it can sometimes become really hard to stay connected with people who are cultivating rage and anger towards an event that creates a painful gap between what they wish and what is happening. One reason might be that they seem so shocked towards the event, as if they had just realized that such things are possible in our world. The first surge of anger is necessary, in order to provide a little release from the pain and suffering of the first wounding, but then we keep wounding ourselves again and again by cultivating the anger. And in doing so through our connection with others, we cultivate misery and pain together and nurture our being entitled to it.
Is it in how we resist a situation, and in doing so how we are ourselves nurturing the rage and anger and blind suffering that we so loudly condemn?
Even more troubling, is that it seems that the journey stops there: misery seeks misery, people suffer together then turn the page and go back to watching violent forms of entertainment on television and in the movie theatres but all that’s acceptable in our society. Until the next shocking thing happens. It’s like awakening sporadically is so painful and shocking that it doesn’t stick.
It is so difficult to feel the anger properly, and then to let it go. Anger perpetuates more anger, more suffering, and more pain.
Sometimes we need anger to begin a new motivation, a new revolution. However, a revolt that is perpetually based in anger turns into the riots in the streets of London a few years back, where innocent people were hurt, shops destroyed and more. That sort of anger doesn’t produce any results other than more suffering. Yet the anger that the women of the suffragette movement felt turned into courageous and defiant acts against the establishment that won women the vote, and more rights to come.
We could look at it as differentiating between holding the anger as motivation, or holding the anger as instigation. The preferable way would be the former, and then with a level-head find the solution after gone through the initial suffering. But there is a boiling anger in society that’s continuously being repressed, both here in the UK and in the USA, which will eventually explode if nothing is done about it, if there isn’t an outlet for it. Peaceful demonstrations seem to have little effect anymore on the establishment, and the media can just block it out as if it never happened. So, there’s the anger there, and it’s not going away soon…
Perhaps it has to do with the general isolation that has taken place, people being so disconnected from each other, and from Nature. We are no longer used to being mindful, to listen to silence. We are addicted to all kinds of fake relationships, superficial activities, superficial foods, and so on.
We need to remember that it’s all energy; sometimes the energy of anger isn’t appropriate. And when it’s no longer appropriate, when it becomes harmful instead of leading us out of apathy, for instance, then we need to repurpose that energy into something useful.
“Useful” is something each person must define for themselves, for each situation is unique. In order to do that, we need to step back from the situation and get perspective in order to discern just action. Anger, like a barking dog, can alert us that our boundaries have been crossed. But are we going to let the dog address this situation for us? How about when we cultivate anger together and become a pack of barking dogs?
Perspective needs distance and silence to produce clarity. No one can understand just why we are so angry better than we do. What follows is compassion. Compassion is not always soft and gentle. Sometimes, compassion means strengthening boundaries or raising one’s voice to be heard. Compassion means observing the situation with distance and clarity in order to discern the best path of action inherent to it.
It’s easy to be angry and feel desperate, lost and confused. Or to think that a public demonstration will change things, because we are now used to getting immediate satisfaction all the time. And yet if we truly pay attention, we realize that we can truly cultivate the change we want to see in the world. On a much smaller scale, maybe, but it is real and it is tangible, and it is satisfying.
Given that we are already what we condemn, we never have to look very far to create mindful actions that reverse that negative flow. It doesn’t change the world or impact politicians, but it changes our world, from our nemeton to another’s nemeton. Aren’t our nemetons microcosms?
Druidry is a religion based on locality first and foremost, and so, when we are upset or angry, it’s our immediate locality that bears the brunt of it. Our immediate locality is also the thing that we can affect most in our lives. When we’re angry at the government or our employers, we can do what we can to be heard: writing letters, signing petitions, talking and organizing unions, etc. But we have no control over what happens after that.
However, in our own environment, in our own bodies and for the most part, in our own houses and land we do have some control, and these are the areas that we can affect to effect change. Only we can change ourselves. We can think and act locally first and foremost, instead of the usual “think globally, act locally” because our range of influence is not all-encompassing. We can think all we want (and post all we want on social media), but that does not effect change. If we bring it down into bitesize chunks that we can handle, then we’re able to really do the work that needs doing.
So, we work in our area, to clear litter, to do ritual work, to contact the Fair Folk, to work with the ancestors and the spirits of place because that is where we live, because that is where we get our nourishment and sustenance. It is also useful to become members of their parish council, or join other committees in the community. That way, we have a real vote on planning applications and housing developments, environmental and health issues and more. In doing so, our environment affects us and we affect it. Then, like little ripples from a pond, that changed and charged energy can spread out. We create an effect in the world.
Think of your locality, think of your tribe. When your tribe is strong, let that energy permeate the rest of the world. This is not to say that we must become insular, separatist and isolated, but more as a ways and means of really affecting change in our own worlds. Become aware of the energy of anger, and how it is being used. Take care of your community, of your locality, and be conscious of the choices you are making and the reasons behind those choices. When we are conscious of our behaviour, we work with right action, and our work will benefit in a holistic pattern that emanates from a strong and true core of personal sovereignty.
Sophie Dòbhran was born in Quebec and lives in a farmhouse on a small island near Quebec city with her husband, her son, two cats and a dog. She studied under Swami Premananda Saraswati for a certification in Hatha yoga and also studied with the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. She joined the Sisterhood of Avalon in 2014 and has been actively cultivating an avalonian spiritual practice since. She facilitates Red Tents once a month, as well as druidic rituals and an SOA learning circle in her community. To find out more, visit her website at http://www.ileauxpommes.wordpress.com.
Joanna van der Hoeven is a Druid, Witch and a best-selling author. She has been working in Pagan traditions for over 20 years and is also a member of the Sisterhood of Avalon. She is the Director of Druid College UK, helping to re-weave the connection to the land and teaching a modern interpretation of the ancient Celtic religion. To find out more, please visit http://www.joannavanderhoeven.com
Letting go is truly a difficult thing to do, and yet seems so simple. Human beings, with their human consciousness, are just not that simple.
I’ve written before on how letting go is a process we have to repeat over and over again; it’s not a one-time event. We have to continually make the choice to let go, in order to truly live our lives in the present moment, in the here and now, emotionally responsible for ourselves and finding an ethically sound way of being in the world. I haven’t discussed the finer process of letting go, however, in any great detail and here are a few words from my own experience.
People are going to hurt us in one way or another, based upon expectations, behaviour, upbringing, environment and a whole host of factors that we simply have no control over. Our response to this is what is most important: our response-ability. When we have the ability to respond in a thoughtful, compassionate way then we are truly working to be a part of the world, a weave of the web that strengthens the whole.
Yet it is so hard to be compassionate when people deliberately hurt us, and sometimes even when it’s not deliberate but perhaps uncontrolled aggression from their past experience, current physical pain or more. But the ability to understand that there are more factors involved in any given situation that you are simply unable to perceive is at the heart of compassion. Compassion is a willingness to understand.
People have hurt me in the past, willingly and unwillingly. Colleagues and co-workers, lovers, strangers; there is no telling where the next experience will come from. However, noticing the stages that we go through when we are being hurt can help us on the path to letting go with an awareness that will allow us to not slip into the easy patterns of denial, whether that is of our own behaviour or that of others.
When we are hurt, usually our first response is anger. For most people, anger is something that time heals, though the length of time is relative to the person and their situation. Anger isn’t the most difficult thing to move through, as we can recognise anger much more easily than its children: pity being one of them. Often when we move through anger towards pity, we don’t know that we are still dealing with anger, with an abstract notion of the other person. Pity does not have empathy. Pity does not have anything to do with compasssion. Pity is the result of dualistic thinking, of an Us and Them mentality. We pity someone because we are separate from them. Pity is so often tinged with bitterness and anger that they are almost inseparable. When we have finished being angry with someone, we move on towards pitying them, in a passive/aggressive way of still attacking them. Pity the poor fool.
When we bypass pity through working around our anger, we find empathy instead, which holds no judgement of the individual.
Sometimes pity is replaced with its older sibling: contempt. We have been a victim of someone’s abuse, and though we realise we are no longer going to take their crap, we hold them in high contempt for putting us through that. They may have spent months trying to hurt us in various ways; we are so over that now and could they just get in with their own lives, please? So trapped in their little world, so lost…
Contempt is just as easy a trap to fall into as pity. Again, contempt has absolutely no compassion, no element of trying to understand involved in its process; it seeks only to make us feel better about ourselves. In the web of existence, we can’t just work on ourselves: we have to work on the whole.
We don’t have to stick around for further abuse, but we do have to be on our guard for feelings such as pity and contempt to flag up the fact that we haven’t actually moved on, we haven’t let go of our anger, we’ve only put a new hat on it and deceived ourselves with its shiny new appearance. When we find ourselves dancing with the feelings of contempt or pity, we can stop, untangle ourselves, bow and walk away, breathing into the wild winds of change. We know that we can choose our dance partners, and in that choosing find glorious freedom and self-expression. We know that we are part of an eco-system, part of a whole, where every part is acknowledged and sacred. The flows of the gods of humanity that we choose to dance with, however, it entirely up to us.
We’ve all heard the term, “you are what you eat”. We know that if we put bad things into our bodies, we’ll end up feeling pretty poorly. Equally, if we put good, wholesome, nourishing food into our bodies, we will feel much better. How much different is it to take this idea over to our thinking minds?
Our minds need nourishment too. All too often, we overload it with media and television, with constant thinking, worrying and getting stuck in our emotions. These things also help us to distract ourselves from our true self, from our true or “pure” thinking and emotions. We can get so wrapped up in them that we can’t see the forest for the trees, so to speak.
We all have things like fear and anger within our minds and within our bodies. The key is to not nourish these things, but instead nourish more positive things like compassion and love. This isn’t a rejection of our anger or our fear – they will always be there. It’s only human. We simply don’t have to engage with them, dance with them so much in order to live our lives fully. If I am angry, sitting with that anger, meditating with it helps me to see the underlying cause of it. I can see that the root cause of anger lies within me, and not another being that has ’caused’ it. Often it is through past experiences that we relate the anger to the present moment. If I can let my anger go, if I truly experience it and then let it go, what am I left with? The same can be said of fear. Fear is pretty much always based on change, and once we realise that all life is impermanent, the fear no longer lies within us and simply falls away. We will have to sit with these emotions time after time, but as long as we are practicing with them, we will get better at understanding them both within ourselves and others.
If we feed fear or anger, they will only get bigger and bigger. Have you ever punched your pillow? Did it make you feel better? Have you ever crawled under the duvet and feared coming out? Did this make anything better? Most likely not – acting on the anger and misplacing it on your pillow solves nothing, and also means that you have acted out aggressively and with violence to a mere pillow. If we keep feeding this sort of behaviour, how long until we act that out on another human being? Equally so with fear, if we constantly act on our fears they do not go away, but rather take control of our lives until we become so tied up within them we cannot move.
It’s not just a case of switching over to ‘positive thinking’ either. Thinking only good thoughts will not make the bad ones go away – they will be there. We have to acknowledge them first and then deal with them. Sitting with them helps us to understand them. Then we can nourish more positive thoughts. If we see that fear is keeping us immobile, if the root of our fear lies in past relationships and experiences, we can then look at it objectively and apply that reasoning to our current situation, in the present moment. We might fear that we will lose our job, but fear lies in change, something that we humans hate. We seek stability and reassurance constantly, it’s our nature. If we look outside ourselves, however we see that in nature nothing is ever constant, things are ever flowing and changing, never the same twice. Every morning we wake up a different person.
We will always have fear, we will always have anger. How we engage with them is what is most important. Friends might say something that sets off anger within ourselves, but if we sit with it and look at it, we often realise that this is based on how we think they should behave. People are never going to behave exactly as we want or expect them to – they are their own person, with their own experiences. We cannot get inside their head. All we can do is see that they share the same sufferings along the path of human existence as we do, and can see also where we have failed. When we see that, we don’t have these expectations of others, and we don’t have the anger when the expectations aren’t met, or the fear that things are changing.
Find what nourishes you most, and work with those thoughts while being in touch with those that don’t nourish. Try not to engage with the thoughts that don’t nourish – simply notice them and be aware of them within yourself. Nourishing things like love, compassion, creativity and acceptance will make the road of life a lot easier to manage.
Take a look at your food for thought. What is nourishing you?
Awen blessings. x
Blending Buddhist and Zen principles into my Druidry is integral to helping me find my personal spiritual path. There is no monopoly on wisdom, and I find the teachings of both Buddhism and Druidry are universal.
One aspect of Buddhism that I find is often misquoted or misinterpreted is the idea that you push away your feelings, in order to function with a clear mind. What I have found is that within Buddhist training and discipline, you not only feel your feelings more, you also learn more from the feeling itself.
We are not taught to suppress our feelings within Buddhist teachings. Letting go of attachments is what is at the heart of Buddhism. That includes attachments to your feelings. So, we feel our anger, our pain, our grief acutely – we give ourselves some time and space to truly feel these feelings, to express them if we need to with honour and compassion, and then to let go. It’s not easy to do at first, but not many things in life are…
I can be very quick to anger. But I have learned to try to not to act or react on that anger without truly feeling it first. In some situations, yes, you may have to make a immediate decisions. If you see an animal being abused, you act right away to stop it. However, you can feel your anger but not allow it to control you, thereby allowing you to act appropriately. Anger can often to lead violence, physical or verbal, which only elevates the suffering in both parties and which resolves nothing. We should act to help each other and all other living beings on the planet.
When I get angry, if I feel I cannot react to a situation respectfully or honourably and I have the opportunity to take a moment, I do. Taking a walk, or sitting and meditating with the anger is a great tool to use in order to gain a deeper understanding of it. Learning how your mind works is an invaluable asset to living a life with greater understanding, or compassion. If I can, I sit with my anger, or grief, pain, suffering and really feel it. I look it over from all sides. I try to find root causes of it. I see that anger reflected in others around me. I then place myself in the situation of the person that I am angry with. Why am I angry with them? What has caused the anger within me?
Buddhism teaches that anger comes from within – it is not something that is bestowed from without. This is seen in the famous Zen story of the monk and the warrior:
The old monk sat by the side of the road. With his eyes closed, his legs crossed and his hands folded in his lap, he sat. In deep meditation, he sat.
Suddenly his zazen was interrupted by the harsh and demanding voice of a samurai warrior. “Old man! Teach me about heaven and hell!”
At first, as though he had not heard, there was no perceptible response from the monk. But gradually he began to open his eyes, the faintest hint of a smile playing around the corners of his mouth as the samurai stood there, waiting impatiently, growing more and more agitated with each passing second.
“You wish to know the secrets of heaven and hell?” replied the monk at last. “You who are so unkempt. You whose hands and feet are covered with dirt. You whose hair is uncombed, whose breath is foul, whose sword is all rusty and neglected. You who are ugly and whose mother dresses you funny. You would ask me of heaven and hell?”
The samurai uttered a vile curse. He drew his sword and raised it high above his head. His face turned to crimson and the veins on his neck stood out in bold relief as he prepared to sever the monk’s head from its shoulders.
“That is hell,” said the old monk gently, just as the sword began its descent. In that fraction of a second, the samurai was overcome with amazement, awe, compassion and love for this gentle being who had dared to risk his very life to give him such a teaching. He stopped his sword in mid-flight and his eyes filled with grateful tears.
“And that,” said the monk, “is heaven.”
When our emotions control us, when they are the ones that are raising the sword and not our true minds, that is when we are in hell. When we are aware of what we are doing, and in that awareness come to understand the nature of all beings, ourselves included, then we are in heaven. Acting with intention, instead of reactionary living, is what can make this world a better place.
My anger can fuel my fire to fight against injustices in the world. It is kept in check, it is a sheathed sword. I know it is there, but I choose not to use it, instead working with compassion. It is a conscious choice. Sometimes I fail, and when I do I notice where and how I have failed, and see the opportunity to work with that. I cannot blame others for my anger. Their behaviour is nothing that I can control. What I can work on is my own behaviour towards them and to making the world a better place. Giving like for like can be a very damaging thing to do. When someone hurts us, our first reaction, our first desire is often to hurt them back. It takes a lot of work to come out of this mindset, a lot of practice.
They say that practice makes perfect. So every time I let my anger rule me, as Thich Naht Hanh said, I am practicing being angry. Every time I practice awareness, mindfulness and compassion, I get better at those ways of being and living. I know which I would rather aim towards!
A recent problem with someone I know led me to explore the nature of compassion more fully, with an eye to not being a doormat – ie. where does compassion end and walking all over someone begin? Can we keep that line intact, or should we constantly give of ourselves – is there a line at all? No one wants to be hurt, though some people do seem to enjoy their suffering. And so, it led me to an article from the Dalai Lama entitled “Compassion and the Individual”. (http://www.fpmt.org/teachers/hhdl/teachings/713-compassion-and-the-individual.html)
We are a people that can become obsessed with retribution – like for like, an eye for an eye. But this compulsion for retaliation is entirely based on a selfish desire, more often than not to “save face”. We are protecting our image of our Self, and yet, just who are we? Who is this Self that we are protecting? Is it an unchanging, immutable force or does it flow like a river around rocks and bends?
What are we really losing when we let go of anger and hate? This is the question that kind of turned things around for me. Yes, I could be angry that this person who hurt me several times, no matter what I did. Or, I could adopt the Zen attitude and get on with it. Throw a little Buddhist compassion in there and learn something from it as well.
In his essay, the Dalai Lama wrote:-
“You should realize that even though your opponents appear to be harming you, in the end, their destructive activity will damage only themselves. In order to check your own selfish impulse to retaliate, you should recall your desire to practice compassion and assume responsibility for helping prevent the other person from suffering the consequences of his or her acts. Thus, because the measures you employ have been calmly chosen, they will be more effective, more accurate and more forceful. Retaliation based on the blind energy of anger seldom hits the target.”
We do not have any control over external influences on our lives, heck, we have little control over ourselves most of the time. But what we can control, to the best of our abilities, is our reactions to certain events. When we release anger and hate we also release the energy that they give us, which can be tremendous, but which seldom, if ever, does any good. What the Dalai Lama explained was that the energy that comes from compassion is much more controlled, and thus can benefit the world at large.
But what about being taken advantage of, I thought? I certainly didn’t want to be a doormat again, hurt once again by this person. To this point, in the essay he states:
“It is possible, however, to develop an equally forceful but far more controlled energy with which to handle difficult situations. This controlled energy comes not only from a compassionate attitude, but also from reason and patience. These are the most powerful antidotes to anger. Unfortunately, many people misjudge these qualities as signs of weakness. I believe the opposite to be true: that they are the true signs of inner strength. Compassion is by nature gentle, peaceful and soft, but it is also very powerful. It is those who easily lose their patience who are insecure and unstable. Thus, to me, the arousal of anger is a direct sign of weakness.”
Now, it had never occurred to me to think of anger and hatred as a sign of weakness, for they are the showy emotions, the ones that scare and provoke, that snap people to attention much more quickly than a mild-mannered, compassionate soul. But look a little deeper and what he is saying makes sense. To just be able to maintain one’s self-control is an enormous task – the red-rager inside us is all too easily willing to come out (see Brian Froud’s Good Faeries, Bad Faeries book for the Red Rager).
So how do we not become doormats? The Dalai Lama says:-
“[w]hen a problem first arises, try to remain humble and maintain a sincere attitude and be concerned that the outcome is fair. Of course, others may try to take advantage of you, and if your remaining detached only encourages unjust aggression, adopt a strong stand. This, however, should be done with compassion, and if it is necessary to express your views and take strong countermeasures, do so without anger or ill-intent.”
The key to not being a doormat is to adopt a kind of fascist compassion. We should also be grateful for those who challenge us in our lives, so that we can become better people. While I am still having trouble with this one, I can see the sense in it. When we realise that anger and hatred are the real enemies, and not the people challenging us day in and day out, the perspective shifts.
The most challenging part of this essay is this:- “Ultimately, humanity is one and this small planet is our only home. If we are to protect this home of ours, each of us needs to experience a vivid sense of universal altruism. It is only this feeling that can remove the self-centered motives that cause people to deceive and misuse one another. If you have a sincere and open heart, you naturally feel self-worth and confidence, and there is no need to be fearful of others.”
I’ve yet to meet an altruistic human being, or any other altruistic being for that matter (I’m sure some, like the Dalai Lama, Buddha or Mother Theresa come close). Our own need for survival may, indeed, counter any altruistic tendencies that we may aspire to. That doesn’t mean that we can’t try, however. It is a good thing to remove self-centred motives, for sure. Having a sincere and open heart is most difficult though – for we’ve been hurt, again and again, seeing the cycle being repeated in a future that doesn’t even exist, or reflected in a past that we can no longer reach. Can we honestly say that we will never be fearful of others?
Perhaps, one day. Until then, I will take my compassion one day at a time, as well as a strong stance against those who have hurt me to ensure that it won’t happen again. These two things are not at odds with each other, as I once thought. Fascist Compassion. I like it.