Thursday, March 19, 2015

Bucket Theory: With LOVE in a bucket, COMPASSION overflows.

That's it. I've decided that the universe or God, or some strange alien planet is playing the biggest, most intricate joke on me daily. My self-proposed "Year of balance" is proving more precarious than I could ever have imagined. I pictured me in "Tree-pose", yoga being a natural ability for me. But no, it's more a yoga pose on a Bosu-ball, on a conveyor belt, with mechanical punch-fists from all angles darting out. Crowds cheer, boo or heckle.

Life-altering shifts like wind changes. People are appearing and disappearing comically,  like a poorly propped and unrehearsed Star Trek "beam me up" sketch on SNL. In between daily motherhood tasks I try to ponder what exactly is happening. Why? and How? I attempt to add reason or frame things logically and without over-thinking or too much emotion. Neither work well, but I try. I'm sure it has been said before, and I am not conceiving this philosophy, but I NOW believe:

All actions, behaviors, mistakes, 
life decisions, even accidents are a product of one of these two "Emotion-buckets." 
FEAR is a bucket and/or  LOVE  is a bucket. 

From one of these two emotions, we make every decision. I've also found that items in either bucket may be applicable to both based on context and thus belonging in either. Sometimes it's obvious, other times it's more a puzzle of back-tracking human emotional maps. It is as if  I have to unlearn all that I've become and rewind in slow motion, doing the same for those around me to try and look at everyone with compassion and understanding. Maybe it's futile, but maybe not?

One of my new goals is to simplify. Here's a simple example:  

Sally was offered scholarship to Princeton at the same time her mother fell ill with Cancer. Sally chose to pause on college for a year and stay with her mom. 
Given this information? Conclusion: LOVE

Right...but life is NEVER that simple, and nothing is linear as far as I have experienced so here's a better example:

Sally lives in Worcester, Massachusetts and she just received an academic scholarship to Princeton at the same time her mother fell ill with Cancer. If she deferred a year she can not reclaim the scholarship. Her father (an engineer) left her mother and married a doctor at Mass General Hospital.  Her mother has always felt inadequate and bitter because she married young and only finished High School. Sally is conflicted because her mother has always been a bit verbally abusive and demeaning, but it is STILL her mother. Bills are adding up too. She has no siblings.  Sally chooses to accept the scholarship. 
Now, which bucket? LOVE  Why? Because Sally knows her mother's fear that she failed her daughter is the source of her demeaning nature (resentment.) She sees the gleam in her eyes every time report cards come home, or Sally wins academic awards. Sally is also scared to leave her mom, but more scared to follow the cycle of resentment and miss her chance. The drive from New Jersey back home is easy enough, and her success can ( and will) encourage her mother's pride which is (healthy or not) tied to her and vicariously received. Many people judge her as abandoning, being selfish or not sacrificing enough. What do you think?

Here's my take. Throw it away, toss it out, laugh, it is your choice. That's my point. COMPASSION is a choice. I can take almost any situation and play it back with as much information as possible and see LOVE. Where I don't see love, I see FEAR usually derived from some aberration, some  lack of LOVE for one's self. Both are very human feelings. Seeing this way makes sense to me because it forces my brain and heart to step into a person's shoes, look around, feel it, and INSTEAD of assuming his/her actions are simple and surface, and even remotely based on what I think I know,  I try to dive deep, beyond my hurt, betrayal, forced defenses and anger. When I do succeed at this, and I still need time for some situations, I see only LOVE. 

Spend some time. Trace it back....If you can push aside your objections, and allow yourself, See how it was LOVE. Once all the layers and convoluted details get stripped away, you will see. After circumstantial changes are taken into consideration, it becomes clear. 

Choose LOVE first. It gives way to forgiveness...of others and of yourself. Love sought begets more love sought. Even if it's scary,  even if it's uncomfortable, compassion leads to growth. 

Get objective, and push yourself to be compassionate. 
Growth and understanding allow for a bucket full of 

LOVE WILL FREE YOU. (hopefully, me too) 

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