Last week I took a fall and for the first time I could not get myself up. I spent hours on the floor until my folks and I got the paramedics to help me up. Then it was on to medical treatment because I had lost feeling in my foot and knee, along with intense pain in my butt, and I needed treatment. I’d like to say that it was an easy trip, but it wasn’t. I first had to make a non-medical appointment. The person that I needed to see came out to the parking lot to take care of things. He could have just said “No”. We went to an urgent care facility, but they said they couldn’t help. Then we went to what we thought was an urgent care facility, but it was a clinic. Even though I wasn’t a patient there, they went out of their way to help. When I saw the doctor he honestly told me that I needed to go to the ER, and that there would be no charge. When I went to the ER, I was surrounded by caring people who managed to keep my spirits up, even as I waited for hours.
I was immersed, not in a feeling of self-pity where I have lived most of my life, but in a total attitude of gratitude for all the people that cared for me and didn’t even know me. I realized that when you give most people the chance to be nice, that is exactly what they do. I also realized that I gave them the opportunity to be caring, and that was my gift to them that day.
A couple of days ago, I was waiting in the drive through for my order. I saw a woman begging for money with all of the cars in line. I recognized immediately that she was a meth addict, and she was a mess. I looked at her without judgment and with nothing but compassion. I gave her some money that I am pretty sure she spent on food. I told her that help was just around the corner (which it literally was). Now – Here comes the miracle part. When I reached the take out window, the cashier asked “Was she bothering you?” My response was immediate. “No, she is just hurting. She is stuck in her addiction and she can’t get out.” When I said that, I instantly saw a change in the cashier. As she said she understood, I saw that she actually did understand. I watched her go from judging that woman to feeling compassion. I could see her face soften. I knew that she felt better about herself because she moved to the higher energy level of compassion.
We all have many opportunities to move into that higher energy of compassion. When we do, it spreads faster than judgment possibly can.