Remember this saying? “Never judge anyone until you have walked a mile in their shoes.” Sometimes I think that expression is the very heart of compassion. It reminds us to refrain from judgment, to have empathy and to understand that we can’t really know what another person has experienced.
Some people see compassion as the domain of a particular religion or philosophy. Truly, compassion is for everyone. Compassion is what motivates us to serve our communities and our nation. Compassion is what inspires us to act charitably. Compassion is what helps us to understand each other.
Compassion is a key element in community-building, spiritual growth and personal healing. In many ways, compassion is the spiritual nature of the love we share for ourselves, each other and the planet.
We often debate what compassion is and isn’t. I say that if you don’t see the value of compassion it’s because you misunderstand compassion.
Merriam-Webster defines compassion simply as this: "sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it."
Well, that doesn’t sound so bad, does it? There is no specific religious belief attached to compassion. There is no directive to act outside of one’s authenticity. In this definition, to be compassionate is simply to be conscious of suffering and to have a desire to relieve it.
Here’s where I think the problem comes in. Often when people are suffering and in distress they act badly. We are often at our worst when we feel our worst.
It’s easy to feel compassion for those who haven’t harmed us, or toward those we don’t know personally who have suffered a tragedy. It is much harder to feel compassion for someone who has causes us harm or behaved badly toward us.
It is in those unfortunate situations where compassion is easily misunderstood. Many schools of thought – religious, spiritual and psychological – suggest that holding compassion for those who have hurt us is the healthy thing to do.
It is hard to understand why someone would be intentionally cruel to us. If we understand that they act from their own hurt we can understand that, on some level, even the most personal attack is not personal. That makes it easier for us to heal.
Just because a dangerous person is operating from a weakened position doesn’t make them less dangerous. We need to keep our distance from people who are dangerous to us, even on an emotional level and even if those people are family members. But we can still practice compassion at a distance.
Now here comes the really hard part. The second half of the definition of compassion; a desire to relieve the other’s distress. This is where we get caught giving to those who do not give back, giving second and third and hundredth chances in relationships with people who continue to hurt us.
Here’s the truth. Subjecting yourself to abuse is not compassion. We must be compassionate with ourselves and understand an abusive situation for what it is (become aware of our own distress) and remove ourselves from it (alleviate the distress).
It is possible, once we have removed ourselves from a situation, to hold our abuser in a place of detached compassion, that is, compassion at a distance. It may assist our own healing to recognize the individual’s damage, to recognize that we did not cause that damage and to wish them well – which is the extent to which we are able to alleviate their suffering.
From my perspective, that’s how compassion works. Compassion is not staying in an abusive relationship. Compassion is not trying to help someone who will not help themself.
Compassion is recognizing that people who are hurt do hurtful things. Compassion is getting ourselves out of the line of fire. Compassion is wishing them well from a distance, rather than harboring feelings of hurt or anger.
It can take a while to get to that place. Sometimes anger helps us heal. Sometimes anger motivates us to be strong. But after a period of time anger turns inward and becomes another danger to us.
Compassion is a process. It takes time. Compassion is a goal, and an active practice toward healing.
The Week in Review
My inner grammar teacher came out to play this week. Read "Word Choice Matters" and see the two examples that made me cringe.
This week I am honoring some of my fellow tarot bloggers. All three blogs featured here are from tarotists who write about tarot.
I so enjoyed James Ricklef’s visit to the Psychic Café. Here is a post from his blog containing further musings from our conversation.
Are you doing NaNoWriMo this month? If you don’t know what that means then you are probably not taking the month of November to write a novel, as so many people do each year. Whether or not you are a writer, or are writing this month, you might enjoy this post about it from Val Sherrill, the Tarot Translator.
James Wells does it again! In this post he succinctly describes what tarot is and is not.
Compassion in Tarot Reading
Sometimes it is hard to find our compassion, especially when we are angry! Sometimes it is important for us to stand our ground and stick up for what we know is right. Sometimes we need to back down and simply walk away. Compassion is an energy that support us no matter what our needs in a situation actually are. Here are some questions you can ask of the cards to help you find your clarity in matters of compassion.
Why does this situation make me so angry?
What can I learn from this situation?
What do I need to know about the person who has made me angry?
What is my best action in resolving this situation?
What is the most compassionate thing I could do in this situation?
It is a good exercise to shuffle, ask the question and simply pull a card, or a few cards, to get your answer. Inherent within many tarot cards are spiritual messages of compassion. When we come to tarot to find our clarity we are empowered to act from a place of integrity, honor and compassion.
What’s Up at the Psychic Café?
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit with James Ricklef this past Sunday, November 10th on the Psychic Café. James is a wise speaker and writer. His ability to discuss tarot from a wide variety of spiritual and cultural perspectives is unparalleled.
If you missed James on the Psychic Café, or if you would like to see it again, you can watch the show in archive on the Tarot Topics News Site.
On November 17th I am very excited to welcome Nancy Evans Bush to the Psychic Café. Nancy holds a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Ministry. She is the author of the book “Dancing Past the Dark.” Nancy is regarded as a world-wide expert on distressing near-death experiences.
On this exciting show we will learn about near death experiences, why some of them are distressing and what it all means from a spiritual perspective.
For more information, visit the Show Info page, and don’t forget to like us on Facebook!
The Lovers is card 6 in the Major Arcana. In the Waite image we see the man is looking at the woman while the woman is looking at the angel.
In more modern tarot images we often see the couple in a passionate embrace. That sort of image carries a very different feeling than the more traditional Lovers image.
It makes sense to assume that a card called “The Lovers” is about passion, romance and love. But it is important to remember that The Lovers is associated with the sign of Gemini and the element of Air. We associate Air with communication, decisions and powers of the mind.
The Lovers can indicate a decision to be made. The Lovers can discuss the process of integrating different things together, or differentiating one thing from another.
From the Lovers we learn the reality of a lasting love relationship. Passion and emotions are necessary to create a relationship. To sustain a relationship we need communication and wise decisions. We need to integrate our lives one with another.
Another lesson of The Lovers is self-esteem. Until one loves oneself one cannot easily love another.
The Lovers card, Major Arcana 6, can predict or speak of a love relationship, much as the Two of Cups, our one-card reading for the week (drawn at random) does.
But the Lovers teaches us how to sustain love. The Lovers reminds us that love lasts when we communicate well and make the right choices.
When we see the Lovers in a reading its meaning, like all tarot cards, can change depending on context. It might speak to a wonderful relationship, or it might suggest decisions that need to be made, especially within a relationship. One thing you can be sure of is that the Lovers asks you to think carefully about what you want to integrate into your life and how you can best do that. The Lovers suggests that you know yourself and are clear about your needs. The Lovers encourages honest communication.
Through these difficult lessons and actions lasting love can be achieved.
Next week will we learn about mastery when we meet Major Arcana 7, The Chariot.
A group of wonderful teachers are coming together to show you how to connect and work with the high-vibrational Beings—Angels, Unicorns, Mermaids, Stone Beings, Dragons, Flower Spirits, Saints, Egyptian Animal Guardians, Spirit Guides, and more—who are guardians and supporters of your gifts and soul purpose.
My colleague Kim Wilborn will be interviewing me, along with several other powerful teachers who will show you how to work with the Guardian Energy that is all around us, wanting to help each one of us, and the world. There's no cost to attend, and even if you can't attend the talks live, you'll get access to each replay for 48 hours.
I cordially invite you to be my guest at this life-changing event. You'll learn how to work with the High-Vibrational Beings who are waiting to
~ Bring solutions to your everyday problems
~ Assist you in everything you do
~ Give you the wisdom and support you need to live your best life
~ Help you discover and live your life purpose
~ Raise your vibration and improve what you attract into your experience
~ Assist you in manifesting your heart-based desires
~ Provide an unshakable support system
Join us and experience:
Theolyn Cortens – Your Guardian Angels Needs You!
Calista – Wonder of Unicorns
Christine King – Connecting With the Animal Guardians of Ancient Egypt
Smadar Lorie - The Secret Hidden Power of the Crystal Guardians
Christiana Gaudet – Flower Power! Guidance, Inspiration, and Support from Flowers
Ferol Humphrey – Full Presence: Learn How to Channel Archangels
Judika Illes – Saints: Miracle Workers From Beyond the Grave
Melissa Kitto – 3 Secrets to Communicating With Your Angels: How Angels Will Help You Experience the Pure Joy of Living Your Life Purpose
Dr. Monique E. Hunt - I Work With Spirit Guides, and You Can, Too!
Sheelagh Newberry - Everyday Angels
Sue Storm – Angels for Prosperity
Kim Wilborn – Connect to Your Guardian Team and Create a Life You'll Love
Michelle Skye – Merfolk ~ Blessings of Spirit, Balance in Nature
Heather Rodriguez & David Caren – Saint Germain: Alchemy and Transformation – Using the Violet Flame in the Aquarian Age
Raven Many Voices – Dragons
Anayah Joi Holilly – Archangels
The telesummit will take place November 11-22, 2013. I'll be talking with Kim on November 19th at 4 pm about how we can connect with the energy of flowers!
If you would like your life to be easier, more magical, and more in alignment with your Soul Purpose, register today for the Guardian Gateway Telesummit II.
Your One-Card Weekly Reading
This week your one-card reading is the Two of Cups.
Typically this is the card of perfect love and perfect partnership. The Two of Cups can predict or describe a loving romance and a lasting romantic commitment.
The Two of Cups is also a reminder for us to be good partners to ourselves. We need to nurture the relationship we have with self, as well as our relationships with other people.
The Two of Cups reminds us that love has the power to heal.
The Two of Cups can predict and encourage all kinds of loving partnerships, not just romantic ones.
That I drew this card at random for the week I chose “compassion” as our theme is another example of how tarot works to solidify and support our positive goals.
Thursday, November 14, 1 pm
Christiana on Blog Talk Radio
I will be joining Jean Maurie Puhlman and Maggie Lukowski on the show “Personal Empowerment for your Soul.”
I’ll be talking about how compassion empowers us.
Join us for an hour of interesting and empowering conversation.
Sunday, November 17, 9 pm
Christiana’s Psychic Café
My guest will be Nancy Evans Bush.
Nancy has a BA in English is from the University at Albany-SUNY, and a master’s degree in Pastoral Ministry from St. Joseph College in Connecticut, with additional graduate study at Trinity College and the University of Connecticut. She has three children, seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Nancy is a past-president of The International Association for Near-Death Studies, Inc.(IANDS) and because of her own distressing near-death experience, has been their go-to researcher on distressing NDEs for 30 years. Nancy is the author of “Dancing Past the Dark: Distressing Near-Death Experiences.”
We’ll talk about her near-death experience, her work with near-death experiences and how she has retained her spiritual faith even after a distressing near-death experience.
Monday, November 18, 8 pm
Basic Psychic Development
Everyone is psychic! The challenge is to figure out what your gifts are, and to learn to develop them.
Professional psychic Christiana Gaudet will share the basics with you. In this exciting webinar you will learn about psychic gifts, psychic tools and simple exercises you can do to strengthen your own psychic abilities.
Whether you are a professional psychic reader or simply want to learn to be more intuitive, you will enjoy this thought-provoking webinar.
Christiana has been a full-time tarot professional for more than twenty years, and is the author of two books about tarot. In 2008, Christiana was granted the title of Tarot Grandmaster by the Tarot Certification Board of America. Christiana provides readings by phone, Skype, and in her office in Lutz, Florida.