“If you are honest, truthful, and transparent, people trust you. If people trust you, you have no grounds for fear, suspicion, or jealousy.” ~ Dalai Lama
I have a confession to make.
As much as I pledge to live a mindful life full of compassion, I don’t always practice what I preach. I write about it, read about it and speak about it almost every single day, but I have many moments that I am not actually living it.
I noticed this more than usual last week and it was remarkably difficult for me to acknowledge.
I wrote an article about the root of our spiritual nature as humans. In it, I discussed the art of having tolerance and acceptance for all beings.
It wasn’t more than a few days after I found myself in a disagreement with someone close to me. We found ourselves back and forth about an emotionally charged and deeply rooted topic.
As I spoke with this person, I could feel the tension brewing inside of me. I felt hurt by some of the words that were communicated.
And I did not agree with some of the actions she was taking in her life.
I felt compelled to tell her my opinion. I care deeply about this person and I wanted her to know that was she was doing was wrong.
I reminded myself to be sympathetic for the path she was on, but soon enough my emotions took hold. The brewing pot of tension began to come to a boil.
Words began to spur out of my mouth as if I had lost at all control.
The compassion? Tolerance? Remembrance of our spiritual nature? It had all vanished.
I felt that I had failed. I had failed to live up to the mindful life I had been so diligently studying. I even felt that I had deceived anyone who had read my writing on this topic.
That is, until I distinguished a flaw in the way I had been viewing compassion. She went on to tell me how much she valued my courage to express my honest opinions and it all clicked:
Being compassionate does not equate to a life deprived of honesty.
Doing my best to live mindfully, does not mean that I will live a life entirely free of disagreements. And it certainly does not mean that I must hold back from expressing a calling from inside to share my sincere thoughts.
It dawned on me then that I had been associating compassion with biting my tongue.
With thinking I had to withdraw from being authentically honest all for the sake of keeping peace.
Living a life of acceptance does not mean we must walk on eggshells. We do not have to tip-toe around any situation with the potential of leading to a disagreements.
The strong energy inside of me which told me to tell this person how I felt was there for a reason. And it was my job to act on it, to share it with the world and release it.
Could I have been more calm and less judgmental in my efforts to express my beliefs?
This is something I will continue to practice.
Although I may have started this article with a confession, I am ending it with a newfound perspective: Even in our most mindful moments, it is okay to be brutally honest when we feel compelled to do so. We are all human. We will all have disagreements. And as long as we decide to express ourselves from a place of respect, we won’t lose touch with our compassionate nature.
Author: Natalie Lucci
Editor: Renée Picard
Image: Tif Pic