In yoga, ahimsa or non-judgement, refers to the state of living in loving kindness toward all beings including ourselves. But sometimes it is the hardest thing to do. Let’s be real. Showing or giving compassion in every situation- particularly conflict- can be hard or frankly annoying. Like why should I? Today, I was walking my two pups through the cemetery. They can be pretty feisty and excitable. An older couple was passing by with their larger dog, and my dogs were tugging to get to their dog. I smiled and said, “sorry” just because I didn’t want to bother them, and instead of a smile back, a “no problem,” they literally let out a big sigh and eye roll of complete annoyance and bothersome towards me because apparently it was the end of the word that my dogs excited theirs.
Let’s face it extending compassion in every situation — particularly conflict — can be hard. My dog example was clearly not one of conflict, but to use another example, why give love to the guy who cut you off in line when you don’t owe him anything? Why? Because you owe it to yourself to find the love and beauty everywhere.
Take note of the image above. Winnie the Pooh author, A.A. Milne once said, weeds are flowers too once you get to know them. You never know who’s going to come into your life and present you the opportunity to find love. In fact, sometimes the universe sends us challenging people and situations for just that reason.
The next time someone really gets under your skin, rather than building up toxic emotion asking “why me”, ask yourself, “How can I extend compassion here? What am I supposed to offer? What am I supposed to learn? I wish that couple walking their dog read this. A simple smile over an eye roll would have made everyones day better.