As 2020 winds down, we're all starting to think about 2021.
So much is unknown.
One of the hardest things for me is not knowing what is going to happen. No matter how much I pretend everything is ok, I get this familiar uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach.
Over the years, I've learned to be gentle with myself during these times. It makes it easier for me and everyone around me, and it also facilitates practical breakthroughs.
That's why harnessing compassion is so critical for us right now.
Our resistance melts. The confusion stops. We become gentle and kind to ourselves and others, and we tap into the power of transformation.
It feels safer for us to trust even though we have no idea what will happen next, and we start to notice the energy within our lives that wants to evolve and become whole.
When we tap into the power of compassion, we experience the co-creative practically applied Love of God.
We notice we've been taken care of all along.
Compassion is available to everyone. It doesn't matter where you live, how intelligent, powerful, influential, rich, or famous you are. We all get to tap into this power if we slow down and listen for it.
Compassion is a Universal energy presence that wants to be acknowledged and accepted so that it can flow freely in our lives and do things that we think are impossible.
The first time I felt this power was when I was 23, addicted to drugs and sitting in a room with 30 other addicts.
Some were rich, some were poor, some came from prison, and some, like me, had no home at all. All of us were joined by the common goal of trying to figure out how our lives had gotten so fucked up.
I stayed quiet because I had no idea what was happening, and I had a queasy feeling in my belly. The leader began to speak about himself slowly. Then he shared something I would not have repeated to anyone, ever.
He shared one of the most shameful painful things I had ever heard, and I was astounded because I had never heard anyone talk so openly about something like that.
Then it happened. I noticed an energy presence start to fill the room. The air became eclectic. Everyone was on the edge of their seats.
He ended with an invitation for anyone else in the group to share next. I remember my whole body tensed. I held my breath, looked at the ground, and prayed to God that he didn't look my way!
After a few moments, someone else started talking, and they also shared something similarly shameful and painful. I was flabbergasted.
This went on for the next hour and a half. One after another, men shared the burdens they had carried—their choices and traumas- and even how their choices had caused trauma for others.
I watched the shame and guilt melt off of the men in that room one after another. Hardened suspicious criminals became open, vulnerable, and compassionate towards themselves and each other in ways that seemed completely impossible.
I think what was most important for me was the realization of a real and tangible Higher Power.
I felt power fall on that room that came from somewhere else. It had a depth that went far beyond the leader or any of us on our own. What was happening was nothing short of miraculous.
I knew that I was experiencing was the Love and Power of God.
This was a complete surprise. I was taught in Sunday school that God loved good people, and we were so far from "good" it was ridiculous. Yet, here we were, witnessing the power of compassion and love that was coming from somewhere else.
It's been 30 years since that day, and I'll never forget it.
I learned more about a Loving Higher Power than anytime I had been in church. More importantly, I learned that practical breakthroughs happen when we experience the loving power of compassion.
Since that day, my life has been spent listening, learning, and creating spaces and experiences like this in difficult, stressful, traumatic circumstances and day-to-day life.
I have learned that the pain and shame, and emotions we carry within us don't need to be fixed. They need to be listened to.
I didn't realize it until that moment, but I had been hearing and experiencing the compassion of God my whole life. It just didn't come in the package I thought it was supposed to.
We all can hear the power of compassion and Love when we slow down and listen carefully underneath the pain, the shame, and the emotions we have inside us.
There are messages of forgiveness and power that are waiting for us to notice them. When we do, we get the one thing we've been looking for all along, wholeness.
We want to be ourselves to be the best we can be and live wholehearted lives.
All you have to do is slow down, listen, and practice creating a safe space within yourself to access this power.
When you do, the Love of God shows up and does the rest.
Trace Hobson lives in British Columbia, Canada, and spends his time teaching people from all walks of life how to create a safe space in their meetings with each other.
Trace facilitates a Free 5-day Safe-Space Gathering where people can learn the step-by-step process for creating a safe space for themselves and the people they want to serve.
If there is an upcoming Safe Space Gathering look on the margin of this page and there will be a registration for dates this month, but if not...
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