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Choosing Compassion
Episode 133

November 17, 2020

There are times that stretch our hearts to feel compassion towards each other and living things around us. As we step into the holiday season and the challenges surrounding this time, how can we have more compassion for ourselves, and those around us?

Diana Ballard

Mom Training

Choosing Compassion

Episode Transcript

The Mom Training Podcast with Diana Ballard


Diana:  Okay ladies, it is that time again. It is Black Friday season, which is an awesome fun season to get your holiday things taken care of, get something for yourself, and just have some fun.


   So, November 20th through Cyber Monday, which is November 30th, we are having a sale on Mom Training. If you’ve been even slightly interested in Mom Training and what we do in there, what we offer – you can try Mom Training for $1 for the first month.


   Come and check it out. Come sign up. Just try it for a month for $1. See what you think about it. If you don't like it, cancel. If not, you might find that you have found your clan. You found your people. So, head over to, Give yourself a gift this year of being able to enjoy motherhood more and feel more on top of your game that you ever have. And we’ll see you in there.


   Hey, ladies! Welcome to The Mom Training Podcast. It's 5:30 in the morning for me. I am up. I am talking to you the first thing that I'm doing today. [chuckle] So, it's going to be a great day. I want to talk to you about a story that's happening in my life right now and maybe we can all learn from it.


   So, it is about a chicken. So, we have 12 chickens; two of them are roosters, 10 of them are hens. And one chicken right now is having the hardest time in the world. One thing after the other, continues to happen to this chicken.


   It had a cold which means it has like bubbly eyes, which is like its sinuses… So, you have to separate it from the rest of its flock. And it had a prolapsed egg hole, I can’t remember what the name is. And so, we had to doctor that up which was completely disgusting. But I had to doctor that up. So, she's starting to feel better. She's been in there, in our garage in this box with a heat lamp and everything for multiple weeks trying to get her better.


   And so, she's finally starting to get better, so we started to let her out in our yard. And kind of be around the other chicken coop, like not exactly in the coop with them. So, she's, we’re like, “Oh my gosh, she's running around. She's doing good. She's feeling good.” Sunday night, my dog got her, and tore out tons of her feathers and she was covered dog slobber. Anyway…


   And then we tried to introduce her to the rest of the group yesterday, and the two roosters attacked the crap out of her. And I'm just like, “Oh my gosh, this poor chicken is just having the roughest time ever. Like it just can't catch a break.”


   It just literally cannot catch a break and I'm like, “I don't even know what to do. I don't know even what I'm supposed to do to take care of her because now she looks like crap. Because she has feathers taken out. The flock is not going to accept her anymore or how do we integrate that in.” So, here's this chicken that literally, has not done a single bad thing in the world and she's suffering, man.


   My dog, this is the first time she's ever gone after a chicken. She did not kill it. She did not seriously hurt it. It just mauled her over, played with her. And that chicken didn't deserve anything, that it's gotten. I mean, yes, it's an animal. I mean things happen. But that chicken is really going through a rough time.


   So, it made me think about times when we're that chicken. When things just happen one thing after another, or you're like, “Man, can I just catch a break?... Why am I struggling so hard?” With like, five million things, or one thing continues to happen after another.


   And the biggest thing that I've learned with this chicken right now… Because in the beginning, I'm like, “It's a chicken, she'll be fine. We'll put her in the garage. And she'll get better and then I'll just put her back in, and she’d be totally… It’ll be okay.” Right?...


   So, over time, compassion has grown for this chicken.


   I've always been a pet owner. Ever since I was a little girl, my family always had some type of pet. And I love pets, but pets are animals. So, for me, they don't have the exact same like… These aren’t exactly family, right? As a chicken. Like, this is a pet. This is something that gives us eggs. But like, I don't go out and cuddle my chickens.


   But I'll tell you what, seeing this chicken suffer, it's opened up a piece of my heart, for my chickens, that never was there before. I’d take good care of my chickens. I cared to go let them out of their cage… They're like in an enclosed pen, so they are safe… And let them out in the yard and let them go eat bugs. And it was really fun to watch them go and explore.


   And so that kind of stuff I would do. But there was never a deep emotion for, “Oh my gosh, my chickens are the best ever. And I just love them like so much.” Like I liked them. They're cool. I love having chickens, but I wasn't like, “Oh my gosh...”


   So, this is really showing me that compassion is needed for like, every living thing. Which makes me wonder, like people that are very compassionate about bugs. I mean, I do save some bugs. I will admit that. If I can save a bug without smashing it… But spiders in my house, they’re dead. [chuckle]


  Sorry, if you love spiders. If they're in my house, they’re dead. But other kinds of bugs like little boxelder bugs, or things like… I'll do what I can try to be kind to a bug that ended up in the wrong place, at the wrong time… Flies, they're dead. That's another one.


   But how often do we give compassion to ourselves? To our toddler that’s struggling to learn something? Our husband that is feeling down because he lost his job or he’s not feeling on top of his game? I mean, there are moments that we give compassion to ourself, to our toddler, to our spouse or people around us.


   But I want to invite you, especially in this season of gratitude, we have the holidays coming up that my look different than past holidays… Can we give a gift of compassion to ourselves? To others around us, people that we don’t really even know? Say like on social media?... Come on, just stay out of it. This is not a good time to be on social media…


   But can we give compassion? Can we give compassion? Can we feel compassion towards other people? … You’re like, “I’m hard as a rock, Diana.” And I felt that before, where emotion is almost non-existent because maybe you’ve become calloused. There’s too many struggles. I mean, sometimes, medications. Like anxiety or your depression medication or different things like that can make you feel numb.


   And, “Diana, I just don’t feel the way that I used to. I don’t have the amount of compassion that I want to have. I don’t feel that on a normal basis.” I don’t feel that on a normal basis either. Like my heart right now is exploding for that chicken, as we talk right now. I’m like, “I don’t know how to help you.” I really don’t. I don’t know… This is my first time at being a chicken owner. I don’t know how to introduce you back to the flock.”


   We’ve looked some stuff up, but that didn’t really work. The roosters literally attacked the second they saw her and just were tearing her to pieces. It was horrible. Like, “Animal! You little turd. I’ll kick you in the butt! Leave her alone.”


   And do I give her away… I mean, my heart right now is exploding with compassion for this little animal that I’m in charge of, that I’m supposed to take care of. I have to make decisions for her. Like do we give her away? … Is she just going to die by the flock?... Do we give her to someone to eat for dinner? I mean, “It’s what the heck, man.”


   Sometimes, it’s a heavy weight to have to make decisions and have compassion involved. And as a mom, we have so many moments in our life where we have to make decisions for our family, for ourselves; taking care of ourselves. And the more compassion that we can include in our decisions, in our actions, and in our thoughts, in our motives, I believe the better our lives will be.


   And honestly, it takes energy, compassion, like feeling love towards something; feeling care towards something. Being kind and thinking about something other than ourselves. Like that’s compassion to me… Can take up a lot of energy. Like a lot of energy is being taken from me… My heart is expanding and it’s just a lot of focus and energy is on the compassion I have for this chicken, which is so silly.


   But it’s not, at the same time. Because it’s a living thing. And so, just a reminder that you’re a living thing. You need compassion for yourself, patience with yourself as you’re working on things, you’re doing things, you’re new learning things. Like a lot of these stages, like every stage of motherhood is a new learning experience.


   Even if you’re being wise and learning from people that are helping motherhood be easier, it’s still… You still have to learn with your own situation. You just have to apply things, and get through the rough patches. But compassion will help us.


   Compassion will help us to love the struggling child, struggling teen, the struggling husband. And as we look for how other people might be suffering, other living things might be suffering, that’s kind of where the compassion comes from. It’s thinking about other people’s and living beings, like, their needs, and realizing that they’re having struggles too. That they need love. They need support. They need help. And how can I use my compassion, my bleeding heart for them, to help them be happy, or take a load off them for a minute, or support them.


   So, think of compassion. Let’s think of other people, other living things, and let that fill our heart this holiday season, as there are challenges, different belief systems, different choices of what people are doing. And it’ll be a lot better season for us, by doing that.


   I hope you’re making amazing plans for Thanksgiving or Christmas, whether that be staying in your own house, or that’s going to be a small gathering with somebody, it’s going to be a great end of the year, and let’s make it that way.


   And we'll see you next Tuesday on The Mom Training Podcast.

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