Laura's theme in class on Wednesday was karunā, or compassion. This was a particularly timely message for me -- since I'd spent a good portion of that day in the doghouse at work. Yes, in the doghouse. About 7 hours keenly feeling the degree to which I'd disappointed my still-new boss. Ouch. I screwed up a budget that went out while she was on vacation, made at least three errors that mortified me, and then from there, just kept fucking up all day, missing details, compounding the ouch. It was extremely humbling and horrible, just makes me sweat to think back on it, honestly.
But I fixed everything. And I learned.
Which was one really important take-away for me from that day spent in the dog house. When confronted with my mortifying, so-stupid mistakes, I was eager to learn why, to learn more, to do better. And I realized that for at least 10 years, I haven't had anyone to learn from at work, no one to school me on the specifics of my job. I've been out there flying solo pretty much, which can be fun, but can also be a drag, since no one really gets what you do. It remains a little invisible, all that's involved to do it well, to pull it off smoothly, tablecloth in hand, dishes still intact on the table.
Now I am delighted to learn there is someone to learn from, someone who can teach me, someone who understands intimately the detail of my work and will help me improve. That is exactly what I was looking for. So yay for the doghouse, yay for getting schooled!
I learned something else from the doghouse, too, something about what it feels like to be in there, since I have often been the one to put people there myself. Ouch. Not a nice place at all. Even dogs don't like the doghouse.
Which brings me back to karunā, compassion. This good dog hadn't spent any time in the doghouse for years and years, so being there really showed me starkly what it's like for others when the tables are turned, when I'm the one putting them there. So not a nice place to be. Experiencing this myself definitely opened me up a lot, stoked my own karunā, my fellow-feeling for others, and had an immediate impact on my own behavior.
To err is human, after all, right?
And so it is with compassion, also human.
So glad to have had that double-helping of karunā on Wednesday. As my darling friend Eunice would order it up, having mine with a side of shri, hold the maya.