Love, compassion, and gratitude — those three words are enough to make anyone who considers themselves a rebel and individual to cringe. As White Lighter as it sounds, these three traits have the potential to become powerful tools that create the motivation and passion needed to accomplish our personal goals.
As humans, we are social creatures; it is a biological need to have community. Community embodies traits of love and compassion; without these emotions we would not have the motivation to create groups and achieve goals we could not have done on our own — farming, family raising, creating shelter, and even protection from outside forces. The lone wolf mentality isn’t productive regarding human behavior, as like wolves, we are social animals and an individual does not achieve success and happiness alone — we need the resources of community.
Even the gods in mythology, whether warring or trying to achieve a specific goal, all have allies, along with friends and lovers they prefer. The ones who are lone wolves, and mercenaries for hire, are demonized not only because of their abnormal behavior, but because they are destructive to the community and essentially to Self.
Those beings who are powerful, like Sutekh, know that helping community is an essential role in society. Sutekh is seen as a rebel and individual in Egyptian mythology, but He is the One who helps the Gods slay Apophis every night, so that the earth will not be covered in Eternal Darkness. Even when planning the death of Osiris, he employed the help of 72 conspirators. His goals were achieved through help with a community and His leadership, not by being the Lone Wolf. He learned to be Himself, and also to be a contributing member of his culture, without losing his individuality. I believe that in this world today, that it is important to remember that we can still be an individual and yet contribute to society.
So, what does this have to do with love, compassion and gratitude? A lot, actually. In the world today you will find that more and more people are becoming isolated, leading to entitlement and narcissism. The majority of people in Western society want reparations, whether they feel that someone has wronged them through their ancestory, or someone has wronged them by treating them poorly. Unfortunately, in the U.S. where I live, this attitude is perpetuated which creates a divide and conquer effect; especially for those that are not awake enough to realize that hate and destruction of community is an effective way for the very few in power to control the masses. This also leaves a person to feel as if status, rank, and money is an important priority, not realizing that when we work together there is more abundance than when hoarding perceived wealth. Love, compassion and gratitude creates a community of individuals that achieve their goals in a manner that allows everyone to experience abundance.
But what about the individual? I simply believe this — we are meant to take care of ourselves first, but when we extend our specialities and support to others we achieve our goals more easily, and quickly. Think of it this way. Say a spider represents community, we know that it may not catch many flies with an individual strand of silk. She must have many interwoven threads in order to catch her dinner, lay her eggs, and even attract a mate. We can be likened to these single silk threads — resilent and strong on our own, but not effectively having the network to create reality and manifestations as we wish. With the aid of other strong, resilient “threads”, we are able to create and manifest intentions that benefit not only the whole, but our Self!
So what is love, compassion and gratitude? Love in this case can be defined as an emotion of accepting something without judgement. Unconditional love does not judge, and yet sees the situation for what it really is. Compassion can be described as the ability to have empathy and feel what another being is going through. It’s like experience by proxy — the ability to put yourself in the same situation as the person is going through, and feeling it. This can be a bonding experience, especially towards the people you love. Gratitude is the ability to recognize and feel content with what you have. None of these traits entitles or enslaves a person, nor is it an indication to not take action for self preservation, when needed. However, these traits are a good way to assess a situation to take appropriate action.
Many people think these traits are a weakness, since they have been hurt in the past. I find that when we strip ourselves of our labels, titles and false egos, it is not a weakness. I find it is because we can’t be hurt emotionally and mentally when there is no attachment to an idea of what we are, or represent. The ability to show mercy through compassion and love, is not a weakness — mercy doesn’t mean that there isn’t a destructive action, but one that is quick and justified, not strung out and cruel. Love without judgement means that sometimes we must cut off those that are toxic to stop enabling their actions and attitudes that are self destructive and effect everyone negatively. This helps them to become strong and eventually reinsert themselves in a position to become part of a productive society. Compassion means that we may see why those that have hurt us have done so, but it does not mean that we do not take action to remove ourselves from the situation, punish them, or allow them to receive the consequences of their actions without our interference. And lastly, gratitude does not mean that we do not strive to reach our goals and better our lives, it means that wherever we are at the moment, we realize that what we have is what we need, and be thankful for it.
So other than helping community, what do these traits hold for us that is beneficial? I would say the biggest benefits are that we have a support group that not only helps emotionally and mentally, but with our physical tasks, goals and manifestations as well. When we are mostly happy and our needs are met, we have the ability to strive to be our best as individuals. Obstacles can be overcome with support of your “tribe”, and when people pool their resources together and understand that teamwork generates more abundance, everyone wins. These traits embody the need and drive to share and utilize our experiences, which is crucial to manifestation.
Here are some simple suggestions to open up the heart chakra, in order to begin embodying the traits of love, compassion, and gratitude:
1. Self Compassion: This allows a person to have empathy for one’s self. This does not mean you feel sorry for yourself, but instead encourage yourself to get back on track realizing that no one is perfect. Treat yourself as you would your best friend, after all, you rely on Self more than any other being.
2. Let Go of Self Entitlement: No one owes you anything. When you freely give, you make the decision to help without attachment. This will lessen resentment and anger. It will also make it clear who truly deserves your help. Without attachment to someone owing you, it allows for the freedom of choice of not feeling tied to a toxic person, or situation.
3. Let Go of Labels and Roles: Though we have to take care of our responsibilities, we are not our roles and labels. I find that when people begin to identify with their roles and labels, it becomes an enslavement to false ego. For example, sometimes a person may become attached to the label of their illness, letting the illness define them, instead of using the label as a tool to achieve wellness. Labels are dangerous because when a human becomes attached to an idea, they defend it tenaciously even if it causes self harm, destruction, or ignorance. This label becomes ingrained in them, creating a false ego.
4. Gratitude: This one can be hard at times. It is not just about finding things to be grateful for, but allowing the emotion to be felt in the heart. Take time to express gratitude. This can be done through mindfulness, such as mindful eating, or even focusing on a single task such as cooking or doing the dishes. When we ground ourselves and involve our whole self in a task, we appreciate the process we go through to obtain comforts.
5. Show Kindness: This can be very simple, such as saying hello to strangers and acknowledging them, to helping someone stranded on the side of the road. You don’t always have to volunteer for a food bank, or other charity. Sometimes kindness can be seeing that another person is struggling with a task, and then offering to help. It may be even lending an ear, or emotional support. It costs us nothing, but time, to be kind. And even sometimes, not even that. In the end, we change the energy around us, allowing us to live in an environment that helps facilitate positive feelings that compels others to want to help. I have noticed that being rude actually takes up more energy, and is not conducive to achieving goals. In fact, it can even effect our thinking, creating a negative space in our head. This may hinder you from finding solutions to achieve our goals.
6. Allow for Others to Help: This one is very hard for most people, including myself. To show vulnerability can be a frightening experience, especially regarding safety issues. However, if there is a task or situation that you need help with, it is advisable to allow help and even ask for it. I only believe it is enabling when it is asked for all the time, especially when a person is able and yet adheres to a false ego/label. By allowing others to help we show ourselves compassion, and the other person has the opportunity to feel needed, which may create a bond.
Though this is a very brief introduction, there are many ways to open your heart, and contribute to a community. I would suggest meditation and reading regarding self compassion, in order to open up the heart chakra and build a solid foundation of Self. There are many websites that have information, including free webinars for self compassion. You will also find a plethora of groups and books available on the subject.
Photo Credit: “Heart-Fractal-Fire” by Le9ion