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The Paradox

Mother Teresa understood the true meaning of “giving until it hurts.” She realized it is about extending love and compassion to another person without strings or conditions – when it’s uncomfortable, inconvenient and often unreturned.

Sometimes we resist the “give” because it’s uncomfortable to meet the other in their place of need and suffering. True generosity insists that you meet people where they are. Where it is sometimes ugly and painful. This requires true courage, like all forms of intimacy.

When we stop side-stepping the pain we see in others – whether it’s the difficult co-worker who challenges us, that family member who knows how to push our buttons, or the homeless person who begs for money on the corner – and instead let our curiosity pull us closer to their pain, we will find the riches of compassion.

So today, do something that takes you out of your comfort zone. Go out of your way to extend love and compassion to someone without any strings attached and without judgment. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture, it can something small – like sitting with the person at lunch who most people avoid, or giving a dollar or cup of coffee to the person on the corner.

When you do, watch something magical start to happen…your discomfort or pain will begin to dissolve. That truly is “the paradox!”

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