Jeg sad overfor min far, stirrede ham i øjnene i et helt minut og sagde tre ord som han ikke havde hørt meget mens jeg voksede op på en forfalden campingplads i Buffalo, NY.

Tårerne vældede op i hans øjne og det samme gjorde mine. Jeg sagde, "Jeg elsker dig."

Et væld af energi strømmede gennem både mig om min far. Energi som bragte os begge tæt sammen. Energi som hjalp os begge til nå dybere ind i vores eget indre.

Ser du, som en arbejdsmand som voksede op i røgen af jernbaneindustrien, så voksede min far op som så mange mænd. Han lærte at for at være istand til at få et arbejde gjort færdigt, så måtte han holde sine følelser tilbage. Livet er hårdt og hård hud er hvad der får dig igennem de hårde tider som kommer din vej.

Måske sandt til en vis grad, men som Joseph Campbell påminder os, "Den fundamentale menneskelige oplevelse er medfølelsen." Medfølelsen - at vise kærlighed for andre mennesker og os selv - driver os alle længere hen af vores egen helteodyssée. Fordi husk, heltens Odyssée er ikke Frodos leden efter en ring, ej heller er det at Luke Skywalker mestrer sine Jedi færdigheder for at styrte et ondt imperium.

Disse er blot metaforer for heltens odyssée, fortalt gennem en medrivende historie.

Heltens odyssée er en odyssée i ens indre. Som Campbell selv beskriver det: "Heltens odyssée er indeni dig; riv slørene væk og åben selvets mysterium."

For at bevæge sig længere hen ad den indre helts odyssée, så påminder Campbell os at vi er nød til at praktisere direkte medfølelse for vores selv ligeså meget som vi gør for andre.



Kommentar: Denne artikel er delvis oversat til dansk af sott.net fra: The practice of direct compassion


My inner journey took a turn this past weekend and began with a six-hour drive to my hometown, Buffalo, NY. Instead of meeting up with a bunch of people and getting my whole family together, I did something different.

I met with each of them for one-on-one quality time and did something I haven't done before. I looked them each in the eye and told them I loved them and explained why I do.

Each of them teared up. And I did too.

See, here's the thing:

Direct communication is compassion for the soul.

When's the last time you looked someone in the eyes, held their hand, and told them how you honestly feel?

It's easier to go through our lives by avoiding eye contact and avoiding honest communication out of fear of argument. Why else are children often told to avoid topics of politics and religion at the dinner table?

Consider, however, that by being honest in our communication we practice compassion for ourselves. Through this, we gain confidence in our own voice.

Honest communication with others and ourselves is hard work. It's a lot easier to politely agree or nod your head with someone instead of disagreeing with them. It's a lot easier to avoid direct eye contact instead of telling someone they hurt you. It's quite awkward at first to look at someone other than your spouse directly in the eyes and tell them you love them.

This type of communication moves the energy in our relationships and all parties involved grow because of it.

I invite you to try this:

Choose someone in your life that you appreciate, love platonically, or love romantically that perhaps you haven't told before or in a while. Or perhaps you haven't been direct in your communication of how you feel. Spend just one minute and look directly in their eyes and continue to tell them throughout this time why you appreciate them.

That's it.

Sounds too simple, yes. I thought so too. Thing is, many people (myself included) are not used to direct communication, so don't be surprised if this moves the person you speak with.

Chances are you'll feel moved too because this directness opens doors to the self. Why? Because by doing so, you're showing compassion for your greatest self.

As I continue to connect the dots in my life and grow into a more actualized being, I'm learning that compassion for the self moves one further down the hero's journey. If we disagree with someone, if we feel hurt, or if we love someone and haven't deeply shared it, we're not being honest with ourselves. We're not showing compassion to ourselves. We're holding ourselves back from truly learning from the experience.

And perhaps it's these lessons that we sometimes need to open a door to the next stage in our journey.