Compassion is the spiritual energy that dissolves the negative effects of judgment. ~ Daily Word
Most people have experienced some sense of loss or hardship, and compassion for others is a lesson we learn from those hard times. We have a sense for what it feels like when others go through rough patches. We naturally feel for them, and if we can, we’ll help. We learn none of us are alone.
Some years ago, I read a lovely illustration about compassion. I don’t remember it exactly, so I paraphrase. A little girl was sitting on an old man’s lap who was weeping because he grieved his deceased wife. When the little girl’s mom caught her sitting on his lap she asked, “What are you doing there sitting on that man’s lap?” The little girl replied, “I’m helping him cry.”
For me, compassion means that I’m feeling the feelings of the other person right along with them. If they’re sad, I cry with them. If they’re happy, I laugh and elate with them. Even if they’re angry, I feel it with them, and then try to help them defuse it in a healthy manner.
On the other hand, some people avoid compassion, because feeling another’s pain is difficult.
Annika’s post last week reminded me of a wonderful quote that shows how compassion can grow, or not.
“It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain. I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it. I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own.” ~ Oriah Mountain Dreamer
With how society is so torn apart these days, I’ve wondered if compassion is lost. So many appear to be only concerned with how they feel about a topic, an issue, an opinion.
Recently, a friend of mine has been going through something very difficult. She’s been posting updates on her blog with stories of human angels who have been coming to her aid. It gives me hope for our society.