Individuality and Compassionate Connection

Time and conscious experience of spaciousness give us perspective, an opportunity to become observers of our “self”. We tend to think to think our self is unchanging despite the fact that change is the only constant. We deceive ourselves by believing there is a set in stone “me” when that’s not so.

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best friends collage 1
Images courtesy of The Morgue File

We are all changing based on circumstances and our responses to them and our thoughts about them. We are all subtly interconnected to all other matter in the observable universe and perhaps beyond.

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” ― Albert Einstein


The universe is in a constant state of flux and both within our bodies and without we are in a constant state of flux.

The cells in our bodies and our mind are constantly being replaced.  We may have an internal biological clock programmed to age. Some researchers believe each type of cell, tissue and organ is like a clock that ticks at its own pace. Some cells, such as white blood cells, live for only a matter of hours while other cells can live throughout the duration of the lifespan of the individual.

best friends collage 2
Images courtesy of The Morgue File

We are born, we grow up, we grow older and we die. The transition involves biological and psychological changes as well as changes in social roles, careers, attitudes, opinions and actions. As we move through different phases, places and spaces, the thoughts we think and emotions we feel are continually replaced with new ones.

I am not the same me I was when I was born nor the self I was in years past, nor are you.  We are constantly becoming — we are born and reborn every second in a sea of time and space.


I Can Only Be Me – Eva Cassidy

Butterflies begin
From having been another
As a child is born, from being in a mother’s womb
But how many times have you wished you were some other
than someone who you really are
Yeah who’s to say that if all were uncovered
You will like what you see
You can only be you
Cause I can only be me

Flowers cannot bloom
Until it is their season
As we would not be there
Unless it was our destiny
But how many times have you wished to be in spaces
Time places than what you were
Yeah who’s to say that unfamiliar places
You could anymore be loving you that you see
You can only be you
Cause I can only be me.

Spaciousness, Compassion and Connection

As I age I need time and space to be alone, to find myself in solitude, before I can give myself  to another in a deeper relationship.  When I don’t speak to fill the silent space, I become mindful – aware of the moment, my environment and my companions. Spaciousness provides the time to consider the value and timeliness of anything I may feel prompted to say. And, when I  do speak, my words are much more likely to reflect compassionate connection.


      • Not all extroverts!

        I definitely consider myself an extrovert as do the people who know me. And yet solitude is hugely important for me. I like to start my days early in the morning (5:30-ish) with a long walk in the countryside around the village where we live. Sometimes I will listen to a podcast, but just as often I will listen to the sounds of nature, the sound of my breathing, the thoughts in my mind and heart. The neighbouring village is on a bluff and from there, across the open fields, is a majestic view of the French and Swiss Alps. Watching the sun rise over them by myself moves me every time I see it and it recharges me for the day ahead.

        However, I do agree that many people do not take enough time to be alone and reflect on things. Many say that they don’t have time for such things because they are too busy. But that is like saying you don’t have time to stop for gas because you are too busy driving. Eventually, it will catch up with you.

        Glad to see you continuing to share your thoughts and willingness to help others, TT. You make the Internet a better place.

        • Hello John,
          It’s good to read your comment here and read kind words about myself in it too. It sounds like we both start our days the same way ie. in solitude and outdoors. I can’t stand anything in my ears and listen only to nature sounds as I walk.
          Best wishes.

  1. A very good friend of mine who passed away recently used to say, “Take a step back and have a thought.” I always listened to those words and let them soak into my subconscious. The way we react to conditions around us defines us in so many ways. It’s those reactions that build our character and repair our character defects. I find myself slipping from taking a personal inventory every now and then. I cherish time alone. Although I find it hard to meditate, it’s good food for the soul to take some private time and reconnect with yourself and review what you’ve become – or are becoming.

    Great post, time thief!

    • Hi Joseph,
      Take a step back is good advice because we often operate on fast forward to our own detriment. Your right about circumstances and character building too. How we respond to stress shapes our character.

  2. @everyone
    Bless you one and all for caring enough to read and to comment too. Please accept my apology for not responding immediately to your comments which I do treasure. I have had 2 very heavy days at work and will not be able to answer until this evening.

  3. Solitude is as essential to me as the air I breathe. I just had a visitor for four days. While I totally enjoyed the time spent together, I’m feeling exhausted and drained. Time to shut down and recharge the batteries. :)

  4. Beautiful. I, too, am constantly becoming. Love the eclectic quality of this post, so perfectly suited to your topic. Hope you had a wonderful weekend. Sorry to be late getting here.

    Hugs from Ecuador,

  5. I feel a strange connection with this article! I could visualize all the changes that I have made me what I am today!

    I feel I am so changed that I fail to connect with my immature self…sometimes I wonder- was that me! while change is a natural process, people around us, whether good or bad play a significant role in bringing about that change.

    Oh! I have always enjoyed solitude…it is such a bliss to be away from everyone, even your loved ones, trying to connect with your inner self…such a connection sometimes links me with celestial blessings, which flow freely into my lap!

  6. Such true words. Thank you. I actually did a post yesterday on “Who I am” prompted by my internal thoughts and dialogue over the past week. It is gratifying to find posts such as yours that affirm to me that I am on the right path. :)
    Thank you once again.

  7. Oh yes, I identify with this also! The older I get, the more I realize I need time alone. It is the only way I seem to allow myself to truly be me. I thinkit is partially why I stay up and write at night so often.When everyone else is sleeping–I can be alone, and be me. Of course, that must mean I need to carry “me” with me more even when others are around! Thanks for this, you are always thought provoking. helen

  8. I wrote a story once about the ghosts of me at different ages and stages of my life, inhabiting spaces that I had once visited. I sat at the bus stop, wearing a sports uniform with the skirt hiked up; wheeled a pram past that bus stop; took children to school.
    As you say, ‘We are all changing based on circumstances and our responses to them and our thoughts about them. We are all subtly interconnected to all other matter in the observable universe and perhaps beyond.’ lovely post, TT.

  9. Touching post and tribute. Eva’s haunting voice and words speak to me deeply. Too often I yearn to be in other times and spaces. Learning to love, accept and allow help me bridge the gap. I need time and space for solitude too, but finding my place ( location and calling) is still a mystery at 55. The journey continues, Brad.

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