This week I set the goal to have compassion for myself. This has led to intense mindfulness in all situations that occur from the beginning of the day, to its ending. This goal was motivated by recent events that put me in a confusing place. Both emotionally, as well as rationally. Without elaborating on the events themselves, I would find myself betrayed, decieved, and rejected by a number of those in my closet circle. My initial response after the moments of shock, was to express forgiveness and compassion for the well being to these who have caused me to be in a place of suffering. It became confusing in the way that I could not tell if I was in denial and rationalizing, or was this authentic. I am fortunate to have a number of loving, wise, compassionate friends and when presented to one, he told me that to have true compassion for others that I must have it for myself first. And so this led to an intense confrontation into the cave of myself, which I am still exploring, so that I can find not resolve, but truth (in this case regarding to authentic compassion). This truth is the antithesis of self deception. It is awakening. And I will just say that it is overly uncomfortable. Beyond terrifying. The feeling to best describe it is fear, loneliness, humiliation. It feels like everything I have been doing up to this point has been in the opposite direction from which I desire. That I want to experience content, but my actions bring me suffering. In my opinion, this is the huge paradox in the west. But I am realizing this as the first step to compassion for myself, and the reason it hurts so much is because I am burning the self-deception that I bring into the light. And so again, with mindfulness, I watch every action I take. And some of them bring me happiness, others bring pain. But I am realizing compassion. To honor the feelings of suffering. that I feel in the moment. To not deny myself anger if the actions of others caused me to feel this way. And in the bigger picture, to understand why I feel these feelings of anger, resentment, etc. What is really being threatened. So this drawing is a homage for that position of the inner mind. Searching for buddha, for what I see as a symbol for enlightenment. That is shedding a light on the darkness of my suffering. The suffering is the ignorance that which my actions in the world outside of myself brings me suffering. I am confronting the ignorance, so that I can be free of the suffering. So ultimately, to use the words of Lao Tsu, "wher e there is emptiness, fill it with compassion". And I am beginning to see through the clouds of confusion, the potential/understanding of true compassion.