In the world we live in, compassion is a rare jewel, and when it is given, it is often conditional. One must be suffering or having had bad luck in order to receive it. Of course, when another fellow human being is in suffering, we should put our business aside and give compassion to that person. Not only to people but also children, animals, plants, trees, Mother Earth.
Compassion consists of “com” and “passion”, “com” meaning “community, communion” – so a passion for togetherness.
Because in a state of suffering one quickly feels alone, alone with one’s pain. The experience when another really cares for us, attends to us, makes effort to understand us is in itself already healing.
Everyone has compassion
Compassion is not something we have to learn; it is a natural quality of our heart. Everyone has compassion, but not everyone is aware of it or willing to give it.
I was always wondering why this quality of compassion is instantly given if someone near us collapses for example; whereas when someone near us is in psychological pain and isolation, our compassion isn’t reaching out. Here we can see the impact of conditioning and moral standards which define when to reach out and when not.
Also our numbness to more subtle forms of suffering, e.g. frustration, humiliation, loneliness, confusion, insecurity etc. plays a role. If one can’t feel oneself on the inside, how can one feel another on the outside?
Reaching behind the mask
By social conduct, we have learned to suppress our mental and emotional sufferings, we put up a facade. That makes it difficult for others to notice what is really going on in us. Only the ones who have learned to sense into another, reaching behind the mask, are aware of what is going on inside. Compassion needs to be given 360 degrees and on all levels. Physical suffering, mental and emotional suffering are not different, just different levels of appearance.
In the absence of compassion, the human world may look pretty, but those who reached a 360 degree state of compassion see that the human world is an ocean of suffering. Strangely, when one stops running away from this overwhelming fact, love emerges in one’s heart. Not the love we know as a reaction to lovely circumstances but a love that comes out of compassion.
This is the unconditional love each and every human being seeks, consciously or unconsciously. Every act no matter how absurd, stupid or destructive is an unconscious attempt to move oneself a bit closer towards to heavenly gates of unconditional love.
It starts here and now
What we as humans need is an awakening to compassion; and it doesn’t start when circumstances allow or are sorted, no. It starts here and now right in us.
Feeling, or more accurately, sensing another’s suffering is where unconditional love arises and the possibility of paradise exists. From there, action is born that will build a totally different society with totally different values.
No amount of fixing will get us there. The road is an invisible bridge that occurs the moment compassion is allowed for.
Make the effort: be present
Make an effort to open your eyes and feel what the state of being is of another. Just make the effort. Sense into the shining towers and the grinning faces. Look what is there behind the words of another. Feel them. It is not that difficult once you make the effort. Remain with the feeling, don’t jump into fixing nor drowning in despair. Just be present to what the truth is behind the surface.
Let your love emerge and guide you the way.
With love, Marc