Ari Kopel

Compassion Begins with Self

In Uncategorized on January 21, 2016 at 9:47 pm

I would like to share a story that I just came across. It may be true or fictitious. I have no way of verifying it. But the message is real, and hit me hard. I recognize that the concept behind the story below is real and true, as many of our elderly become a burden to their children and family and end up in nursing homes. They are sometimes mistreated and abandoned – and judged.


And sometimes their caretakers don’t realize that they too had a life, one that was probably rich with 1920s_Cycle_Race_UK_251experiences and successes, downfalls and wonderful lessons learned. The caregiver sometimes only sees a deteriorating person, when in truth that elderly person was the vessel for Creator to experience Itself through, during the entirety of that life.

The mistreatment of the elderly – or anyone – breaks my heart. And I recognize that we can easily be the recipient of this in the future. It is disheartening when others don’t take into account who we are as souls, taking into consideration all we’ve suffered in our own skin while trying to survive in a world that may be alien to us.

walk-a-mile-in-my-shoes (1)

This is how I feel when others are judgmental. No one really KNOWS you until they’ve walked in your shoes… Let us always practice empathy, kindness and compassion for others, as we never know what they’re journey has been like.

I hope the story below makes us rethink how we view others, especially the elderly, because we’ve all had our share of bitterness, regrets and disappointments in life that make us look “ugly” and not likable at times.


We have encountered grumpy people before – angry people that we want nothing to do with afterwards. If we conclude that this is who this person is – and has always been – we become participants in condemning a person to a “life sentence” for what could be considered circumstantial evidence based on our perceptions or interpretation.                                                                                                                                                                                                                               


In this case, we judge a person based on their expression of  anger, lament and bitterness. We may not yet understand that this is a symptom of painful memories and disappointments that have left scars and probably a big void in their heart.  

We need to see beyond that and intuitively connect with that person’s heart so that we can then understand their life, their pain, and their challenges. How else can we empathize and see the world through their eyes? 

When we truly “see” a person via this heart connection, we can then be in true compassion, honoring of them, and appreciate all they’ve had to endure, while “in their travels” through this world.

From now on, let us be gentler with ourselves and not judge ourselves too harshly for our own life experiences. Let us learn to love ourselves by  first being honest about our own challenges. By doing so, we can then recognize these challenges in others. Then, we can be kinder and more understanding when another person rubs us the wrong way or comes across in a manner that is not to our liking.


When we can do this continuously, without being reminded, we would have reached another level of consciousness – perhaps a Christed-Consciousness. And, I think some of us can agree that this would also be considered Ascension.


After this man died in a nursing home, the nurses find something that changed their lives…


Every day thousands of elderly people in nursing homes eagerly await visitors or at least a phone call from their family. But in the end stages of their lives, their old hearts that won’t beat much longer, are often bitterly disappointed. When an old man, whom the nurses only know as a grouch, dies however and his room gets tidied up, they find something that touches their hearts so deeply that it brings them to tears.


Amongst the patients belongings, the memories of an entire life, they found this poem:  

What do you see nurses? What do you see?

What are you thinking, when you look at me?

A cranky old man, not very wise,

Uncertain of habit, with faraway eyes?

Who dribbles his food and makes no reply.

When you say in a loud voice, “I do wish you’d try!”

Who seems not to notice, the things that you do.

And forever is losing… a sock or a shoe?

Who, resisting or not lets you do as you will,

With bathing and feeding, the long day to fill?

Is that what you’re thinking? Is that what you see?

Then open you eyes, nurse. You’re not looking at me.

I’ll tell you who I am, as I sit here so still, 

As I do at your bidding, as I eat at your will. 

I’m a small child of 10, with a father and mother, 

Brothers and sisters, who love one another.

A young boy of sixteen, with wings on his feet

Dreaming that soon now, a lover he’ll meet.

A groom soon at twenty, my heart gives a leap,

Remembering the vows, that I promised to keep.

At 25, now I have young of my own, 

Who need me to guide, and a secure happy home.

A man of thirty, my young now grown fast,

Bound to each other, with ties that should last. 

At forty, my young sons have grown and are gone,

But my woman is beside me, to see that I don’t mourn.

At fifty once more, babies play ’round my knee,

Again we know children, my loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me, my wife is now dead.

I look at the future, I shudder with dread. 

For my young are all rearing young of their own,

And I think of the years, and the love that I’ve known.

I’m now an old man, and nature is cruel,

It’s jest to make old age look like a fool.

The body, it crumbles, grace and vigor depart,

There is now a stone, where once I had a heart.

But inside this old carcass a young man still dwells, 

And now and again, my battered heart swells.

I remember the joys, I remember the pain,

And I’m loving and living, life over again.

I think of the years, all too few, gone too fast,

And accept the stark fact that nothing can last.

So open your eyes, people, open and see:

Not a cranky old man,

Look closer, see ME!tumblr_m4y0ixudpG1qh2dcjo1_500

May the meaning behind this story keep us in that heart space, so that we can see the world through everyone’s eyes. With this new level of being, let’s try to become more compassionate with ourselves so that we come to understand that all of us have a story to tell and something to teach and something of value to give.

Lets lead our lives with dignity, knowing that we matter!

Someday, we too could begin the process of our exit out of this experience; and if we find ourselves at a facility, at the mercy of others, let us hope that the person who will be the recipient of our grumpy demeanor be someone who understands and practices kindness, empathy and compassion.

And maybe they would want to hear all about our “journey” – whom we loved, our disappointments, our adventures, and our downfalls… And maybe they will give us the opportunity to relive our lives all over again, even if it’s just for a fleeting moment, and allow us to reevaluate our experiences with a newly found appreciation for the life we lived, and a rekindled love of self.

– Ari Kopel

About the Author:

270e84_7ffbdca8fc4e4f5d9f41430393525662Ari Kopel is the Bestselling Author of “Spiritual Warfare & The Art of Deception: The Hijacking of Spirituality” and “Getting Back to Source: Tools for Connection, Protection and Empowerment”. Both became #1 Bestsellers and #1 New Releases in Amazon.

She specializes in Spiritual Psychology and is a counselor for those who are seeking to have a more profound experience with the God of their understanding and become fully empowered to help themselves, their loved ones and humanity.

Ari is also the founder of and the radio show host and creator of“Shattering the Matrix” on BlogTalkRadio.

You can get in touch with Ari by going to her website:

SW_Bestseller              9780986176913



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: