Compassion and Growth

By Shae Hadden
Bio


My sister reminded me last night that it’s gardening season. “The next
three weeks are for planting,” she said. And that was it. For her, the
next three weeks of her work life will be determined by her definition
of this part of the growing season. Purchasing young seedlings,
transplanting older plants, making last minute preparations of the
garden beds, placing vital nutrients around plant roots. Working the
soil and planting things.

I was struck by the sweet irony of life.

In
the midst of this season of new beginnings, some of my older women
friends are facing mid-life and end-of-life challenges. Seasons ago,
they ‘planted’ themselves in particular locations, lifestyles and ways
of thinking about things. And now the challenges they face are like
none they have experienced before. In a way, they are being offered
opportunities to let go, to ‘re-plant’ themselves, to transform their
experience of life. Some are suffering with their circumstances. Others
surrendering. No matter what they are choosing, they are all growing as
human beings.

It is their choice as to how they grow.

In
the past, I would have tried to control their choices out of my fear
for their future. But I have transplanted myself from the wasting bed
of fear into the garden of love. I stand in the place of compassion
today and acknowledge their struggles and their courage.

It’s
been said that without darkness, we would not be aware of light.
Without sadness, we would have no gratitude for happiness. Without
suffering, no appreciation for serenity.

I think that, without compassion, we would have no awareness of growth.

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