Tuesday, June 9, 2009

True compassion

Earlier tonight I attended my regular Tuesday evening recovery meeting and, which I can't tell you just what the meeting was about, I can tell you I heard something of which I needed to be reminded. It was this: Identify with and pray for those who are suffering similarly.

That hit home for me because I've lately been struggling again with self-pity about being single, especially since dating has generally been a disaster because I have never initiated relationships very well. (Why that is, of course, is a subject for another day.) And when you're in that spot it's easy to get caught up in your own situation and believe that it will never end.

At times like those, as I first read in the late Walter Trobisch's book "Love Yourself," it's helpful to remember those who also are struggling. It reminds us that, as one of the Program's slogans reminds us, "You Are Not Alone." And I know full well that I'm not the only single man feeling frustrated because relationships with women haven't worked out, even at my advanced age.

But that's a universal. At the funeral of a churchmate and co-worker who died in January of ALS, I relayed the story of this woman asking about another colleague who had also attended our church who was facing cancer. (Unfortunately, he had died the month before.) And he too had prayed for other people rather than focus upon his own fate. In fact, I'm convinced that when we focus upon others our own troubles lift.

So before you hit the sack tonight, pray for someone else who may be troubled. And I hope I can take my own advice.

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