Friday, August 17, 2012

Compassion and Play

Compassion: "from com- 'together'... + pati 'to suffer'"
Play: "pleien to leap for joy, dance, rejoice, be glad"

Rainbow with lightening strike by thinboyfatter

This summer, during the course of a week, one family member prepared for death, another was told she needed a mastectomy, and a friend had a stroke that required his re-learning how to speak.

It was what Lewis Richmond, author of Aging as a Spiritual Practice, calls my "Lightening Strike." The moment you wake up to your aging. Consequently, I've been asking myself all kinds of questions about the meaning of life.

What does this have to do with having fun, and doing good?  Life is short. We might as well enjoy ourselves, and play while we're here. Life is also full of suffering. It's a thread that runs through all of our lives. To have compassion, to suffer together, can be a comfort to others, and to ourselves.

As my 43rd birthday approaches, some questions I'm pondering for the next year are:
  • How can I be more compassionate with myself, and others each day?
  • How can I play each day? What makes me rejoice, dance, and leap for joy?

Have you experienced a Lightening Strike in your life? If you'd feel comfortable sharing about it, I'd be honored to hear your story.

Full disclosure: The link to Aging as a Spiritual is attached to my Amazon Associates account. If you purchase something after clicking on the link, I get a small percentage of the sale, which I'll most likely spend on more books!

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