“we may or may not be able to change our outer circumstances, but with awareness we can always change our inner attitude, and this is enough to transform our life. even in the worst external circumstances, we can choose whether we meet life from fear and hatred or with compassion and understanding.”- jack kornfield
my father is dealing with some scary health issues. as i talk with him each day, his fear can be so powerful that he can’t hear a word i’m saying. he can only repeat over and over again that he refuses to see the doctor and does not want to undergo any more exams. sitting in a place of fear – the fear of the unknown- keeps him from being proactive in addressing health concerns the doctor has said can be more easily resolved with early detection.
as i listen with compassion and understanding, i know i can’t force him to see the doctor. but as sit in faith, in knowing that his doctor is doing his best, and that early detection can make such a difference in the course of a disease, i can be an example to my dad. i don’t have to yell back, i don’t have to take his anger personally, i can just calmly remind him that if we trust the doctor, and allow him to do his job, we can shift our attitude of anger and fear to one of gratitude that the doctor wants to help and that his goal is to solve problems, not create them.
and sometimes, the power of positive thinking and compassionate listening can be contagious. if i can be an example of living in faith, trust and love, perhaps my dad will find the path that will give him peace, instead of judgement and fear.