January 17

Today's quotation:

If we make our goal to live a life of compassion
and unconditional love, then the world
will indeed become a garden where all
kinds of flowers can bloom and grow.

Elisabeth Kuebler-Ross

Today's Meditation:

Compassion and unconditional love.  What kinds of goals are these?  How many people do you know who have these two qualities as their most important goals in life?  I know lots of people who have goals for family, career, sports, or hobbies, and they spend a lot of time and effort trying to reach those goals, but I don't think I've met anyone yet on a personal level who's actually making an effort to improve and strengthen their compassion and unconditional love.

It's not an easy goal to set or to keep track of.  It's not like these two qualities are quantifiable or measurable.  It's very difficult to determine how we're doing in our effort to strengthen ourselves in this way.  Results are often unseen by us, so we often can't see if we're making progress at all.

I believe that if we're going to set such a goal, we must at the same time release any need at all for seeing results.  We know in our hearts that if we're showing compassion and unconditional love, then we're helping other people just by being who we are.  We're also helping ourselves to become loving and compassionate people, and the need to see results--or to have our expectations for reactions fulfilled--can only sabotage our efforts to make our love truly unconditional.

Just as seeds in a garden grow because that's what they do, our efforts will have the results they're meant to have, not the results we think they should have.  What will the garden of your life look like if it's allowed to grow as it's meant to grow, nourished with love and compassion?

Questions to consider:

What specific things can you do today to practice unconditional love and compassion?  Do they have to be big things with huge effects?

What will it mean to us to make compassion and unconditional love an actual goal in our lives?  How will we know if we're making progress towards reaching our goal?

What other kinds of goals do you have?  How do you try to reach them?  Can you make the same efforts for love and compassion?

For further thought:

Compassion is not religious business, it is human business;
it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and
mental stability; it is essential for human survival.

the Dalai Lama

  

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