“If you compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete”, The Buddha
Many years ago I heard a speaker in chiropractic say that the profession was unique in that whenever we’re under attack, our response has always been to circle the wagons and shoot…in (i.e. at one another, just in case you weren’t raised on John Wayne movies like I was). Alas, things don’t seem to have changed much since then. “Divide and conquer” might be an effective strategy if you’re planning an invasion or takeover, but it’s undoubtedly not a rational thing to do to ourselves. Especially over and over and over again.
That pattern continues to sadden me, and lots of judgments come up about it (because naturally I know who’s really right), but I’ve come to a point in my life where whenever I get triggered about something “out there”, I look within myself to see if the same pattern exists in me. It’s a bit nauseating how often I find it. And in this case, I can clearly see that I have often employed the same futile strategy in my own life.
How often have I been a house divided when “under attack”, conducting an argument between parts of myself, every one of them either convinced it was right or ashamed it was wrong? How often have I given myself flack when I needed some slack? How often have I beat myself up when I needed an ally? How often have I been my own adversary instead of my own advocate? Especially when I’ve needed an advocate the most?
Can I ever be compassionate with others until I’ve given myself some first? Can we as chiropractors ever develop the compassion to honor each other’s opinions and paths enough so that we might someday unite in any meaningful way? Can we as members of the human race do that? Can we ever do it until we’ve united all our pieces as individuals with compassion and love?
So I humbly offer the invitation to all of us to send some compassion to ourselves today. Tomorrow would be OK too. Not pity or sympathy, but unconditional love. Imagine how our Innate (Spirit) would talk to our Educated (ego), and let’s talk to ourselves that way. Let’s affirm that when all the pieces of you and I get together on the same team, we are both unstoppable. And when they stay together under any “attack”, they can work together to bring about the most loving outcome that serves everyone. Let’s circle the wagons and shoot love in so we can shoot compassion out to each other and to the world.