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wood-heart-no words

Recently my eleven year old son exclaimed, “I’m not a reader like you. I hate to read,” while we were discussing his summer reading options.

It is true, I love to read, but there is also something bigger going on here. I knew that this child of mine wasn’t inclined to be an avid reader at a very early age–he has always been a doer. I found that during this particular conversation, I could reflect, cleanly, on how I have not imposed my {insatiable} love {and border-line obsession of} reading on my child. I simply do what I love, and I carve out time for it daily. I love that he has noticed how much reading means to me.

This is also what I love: an opportunity to hold space for compassion. My son was upset and bemoaned something he had to do that he didn’t want to, while feeling the dawn of impending adolescence. All of the hormones and angst built up to a point where reading was the thing that pushed him to his edge. Oh, dear and sweet boy of mine, how I love thee. I get it. This marks the start of pointed discussions and opportunities to love one another. Space to open up a wider conversation about what it means to hold one another in love and in compassion with all of our prickles, stings, beauty, and wonder.

But isn’t this the start of compassion: holding a wide open circle for compassion to visit on a summer day with a boy who is figuring out himself and his world? This is where it all begins–in my heart and in my living space. I realize that holding space for compassion is something my community needs, something that the world needs. I just need to be more aware as to what is going on in my heart at any given moment, so I can step into that circle and hold space for what is, what needs to be–where God is.

If we want there to be peace in the world,

we have to be brave enough to soften
what is rigid in our hearts, to find the soft spot
and stay with it. We have to have that kind of courage
and take that kind of responsibility.
That’s the true practice of peace.

~ Pema Chodron

Oh, God, show us, in the still moments and in the noisy ones how Your compassion is ever-present and ever-available to us. Enable us to be the feet of Your compassion.

❤ ❤ ❤