Breathe in authenticity, breathe out compassion

I came across a breathing exercise in a daily meditation I’ve been going through this year. As I breathe in deeply, it had me focus on living authentically – being my true self. In doing so, that would help me to show compassion — so as I breathe out deeply, the word to contemplate was compassion.  Breathe in authenticity, breathe out compassion.

As they say, how is that working for you?

I’ve done this for about a month or so. These past two weeks, I’ve found myself more judgmental of others – particularly those friends around me in recovery! I’ve been more competitive, more frustrated and at times, with a serious case of the f&*k its!

So where is the compassion?

This morning, I realized through some meditation and the morning’s devotional that I’ve focused on having compassion for others. Indeed, I think that was the original framing from the exercise. However, what I’m realizing is the exercise first applies to myself. Only in showing myself compassion — indeed, only in first seeing the compassion that I’ve been shown by my Higher Power — will I find the necessary humility and perspective to meet others with that same compassion.

I’ve heard that before — but it never really connected in the exercise. While the end goal may still be to find a way to live authentically and show compassion for others as I live out my faith in the world, it starts with finding compassion for myself. It took feeling the judgments and frustrations to dig a little deeper…and with that came a richer understanding and experience.

So I’m going to continue with the exercise for a while longer – but shift the focus on finding and showing compassion for myself.

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I see life as full of possibilities and the world full of beautiful people possessing unique and often untapped talents. I’m a learner and connector, seeking ways to leverage the abundance in this world through strong community.

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