This is an excerpt from my unpublished book, a spiritual memoir about Awakening.
Compassion is a feeling, an e-motion that moves us into connection with another that is suffering. Compassion dares to wade in the water of pain to touch the one who is submersed, unsure of whether she will drown. It caresses her and sits with her in the watery depths of despair, breathing enough oxygen for both of them, being mindful to keep its head above the water. Compassion is fearless in its willingness to be present in the pain that so often elicits humanity to its threshold. It knows its connection to Divine sustenance, and takes that knowing with it when it enters the frays of human disconnection. It leans into the dark hole of forgetfulness, connecting to its own humanness to connect the one who weeps, to the world of infinite love and wisdom. Compassion sits comfortably with the sadness and holds gently the bereaved. It opens human heart to hold the fullness of her sweet pain and transforms it into the Love that it truly is.
Compassion is the human expression of Divine Love. It is the delicious connection to humanity and sensation. It is the flesh of love that binds us to each other. It offers the visceral awareness that we are truly One.
The challenge with compassion arises when we unconsciously choose compassion over alignment with Source/Self. While compassion delivers us to the heart and soul of human connection, if we are not awake in our empathy, we may drown in a perception of another’s pain forgetting not only their intrinsic wellbeing that lies at the core of all beings, but we may be swept away in the current of another’s disconnection, risking our own stability which is often the very thing necessary to support the other in their resurfacing and realignment with their True Self. We must temper our propensity to dive into the depths of someone else’s despair when our nature leans towards compassion, and remember to keep our head above water.
I notice when I am feeling lost and unaligned that the peaceful strong energy of my mother, my husband, a friend, is much more comforting than someone who commiserates with me in my story of pain. Yet, I do not want them to pull me out of my emotions with the likes of a cheerleader on the sidelines coaxing me to joy, prematurely. I am grateful when they step into the space where I am, with their love and reverence for the process I am experiencing, honoring my pain, but not joining it. I am grateful when they sit quietly as I weep and I can feel their strong knowing that I am well, that I will feel well again, even when it seems impossible to me in that moment.
I choose to cultivate within me, this perfect blend between the compassion that dares to lean into the heart of human suffering and the mindfulness of staying awake and connected while reaching into this space of dark beauty, staying grounded in knowing the wellbeing of the other and of myself. I choose to be intimate with life, with my human nature, and I choose to be fierce in my commitment to alignment with my Divine nature. As I continue the practice of Unconditional Love, that knows love in all conditions, I am confident that my ability to remain in alignment while compassionately connecting with another who is not, will grow and blossom.