alcohol & baked goods

How impressive it is that we who are taught independence and solitude,
stubborn like plinths,
should be able to somehow allow ourselves
the comfort of friendly support from another–
how lucky it is that there is even the slightest bit of way-giving
gentleness that makes life bearable.

_

For me, the most challenging aspect of being a Buddhist is maintaining a sense of compassion for every person I meet.  My thoughts tend to be immediately judgmental, regardless of what I let come out of my mouth.  I try to keep my thoughts on the inside if they are too negative, but that still doesn’t make up for the initial negativity.  So I suppose I am trying to train myself to be otherwise.

The other part of being compassionate is easing the suffering of others.  I am trying to put myself out there, in terms of being emotionally supportive.  I am not qualified to offer counseling or therapy to other people, but what I can do is be present for anyone who needs it.  I have a (male) friend who has been dealing with the death of someone he loves, and I have been trying to be supportive without being overbearing.  I realize how difficult it is to reach out to other people (and probably even more so for men) , so I have just told him that I am there and have not been pushing the subject otherwise.  I am not sure what else to do for him because I don’t want to be pushy or presumptuous.  I’ve only come up with either making brownies or buying him a bottle of bourbon.  Those ease emotional suffering, right?

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