If stress is the great exacerbator, loving compassion is the healing salve.
How do you teach compassion to people who are raised in a society of harshness, cruelty and hatred? I’m not sure you can, accept by consistently embodying and displaying compassion yourself.
We are all going through a lot of challenges on planet earth now. America has fractured; a chasm has formed. This is like a modern version of a civil war. Our society emphasizes fear thus we hold on tightly to money and all things we have in an attempt to preserve life, all the ways we are accustomed to living. This is done in order to enhance a feeling of security and safety.
Yet all things are changing, constantly, nothing can be held on to or will last.
The fear response seems to be ruling the day for most Americans. This impulse is driven by the egoic need for more. “I don’t have enough,” runs through our culture like a subtle and unconscious conditioning.
There is another way: Love and Compassion.
Showing we care is one of the most important expressions right now. And this can be done in so many simple ways. We must remember that the cousin of compassion is empathy and this is beautifully depicted by Dorothy Day, imprisoned during the suffrage movement:
“I felt glad as I entered my cell that now at last I could be really poor for a time, for a day, a week, or a month, that for no matter how small a time, I was at last sharing a little the misery of the poor. In a way it was true. I was stripped, prodded and searched for drugs, pushed from here to there, interminably, caged half the 24 hours like a wild beast — yes, I had just enough of it to teach me to suffer more keenly for the rest of my life over the plight of the prisoner…”
This kind of compassion and empathy brings one to the truth of inseparability, to kinship with all life.
We may or may not feel able to share what we have, money, etc., but we can always validate and acknowledge each person’s humanity with our response to suffering and need. If we feel angry or put out, usually from a conditioned response or defense mechanism of uninvestigated ego, we miss an opportunity. Whether the pull is there to offer assistance or not, we can always say things like:
“So sorry you’re going through a challenge…Gosh that must be intense.” And if we express these words with genuine compassion, whether by text, email, phone or face to face, the transmission of love and caring will be felt. In this way we share our hearts, even when we don’t feel able to share in other ways.
Terse, short responses or suggestions meant to deflect and reject pain and suffering are very hurtful. Stop, breathe deep and feel, ask yourself:
“How can I show I care in this moment?” This allows us to touch a glimmer of true compassion and can be a doorway to opening our hearts ever more to the pain and suffering of others.
Eventually the sense of ‘other’ will fall away. That’s oneness.
We must acknowledge our own pain and suffering first, to fill our own emptiness, then with a heart that is full we can offer an intangible light that is the essence of true compassion.
Finding true compassion in a world veiled in darkness is heroic and begins to bring light in. Then ignorance, fear and greed dissipate, just like turning a levered light switch, slowly more and more light comes in.
Eventually we see through direct experience that underneath all emotional manifestations: fear, doubt, anger, sadness, etc., is love. To discover this truth of compassion, we must only turn towards the Eternal Source, then the waves of heaving sadness and crashing breakers of anger subside in the quiet Ocean of Love.
When those we ask for help are unable to show they care or offer us compassion, we must see their pain, sadness, anger and sorrow and hold it for them so they can heal. This brings Divine Attunement, a resonant force is established, The need for outer comfort, safety and security is replaced and reflected inward to the depths of our true Self.
So we must not judge or get angry when help is not forthcoming from someone who appears to have resources because they are already stuck in old psychic wounds and instead need our love, tenderness and the magic touch of compassion. Always remember, that if someone cannot help, you simply send a silent and sincere ‘thank you.’
The right person to help will soon appear and once they are found, we must receive their offering with the fullness of our heart in gratitude. In this way, we immediately give back and allow them to feel the grace of giving.
Ultimately we go beyond the limiting confines of the mind and transmit a new frequency of light. This is the Current of the Great Beyond, a frequency full of LOVE.