One of the most liberating, yet gentle creations of the human mind is compassion or, solicitude, the caring of another. Compassion is the cure. Sometimes for others. Sometimes, for ourselves.
When we delve more deeply into the awareness of others, we open a part of ourselves that we were not aware of in our conscious lives.
Finding a clarity of mind means that we have to walk away from what we think we know.
It’s not easy. We can be outraged about something or someone beyond our control, but we will never feel the peace of a resolve until we also stay away from that thing long enough to become still in our awareness of it. Our own awareness of our own response.
We are ultimately responsible for how we react. We’ve all seen people act badly. We’ve all had our own language to describe the injustices of the world, we’ve all seen courageous acts of bravery, kindness, paying-it-forward, and love.
Not everyone is compassionate. Not everyone sees the compassion in others. Not all people even want to show compassion for others. It’s value based. Morals and values are intricately entwined with our cultural norms and our group think. When we see others act in kindness or thoughtlessness, we tend to feel more compelled to do the same. We humans choose how we spend our days.
Nelson Mandela said, “As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”
A perfect example of compassion for himself, and for his experience. We humans put ourselves in prisons. We shut the cage door on ourselves. We allow the words or actions of others to trap us in a mental game of hurt. We lash out at the hurt before finding the ability to forgive.
In order for us to tap into the source of our pain, be it personal, professional, societal, cultural or universal pain, we have to gain a better understanding of our own conscious decision making. We have to want to be a better version of ourselves. Then, we have to act on summoning the courage to take that first step in releasing the thoughts that prevent us from seeing others as equally flawed, complex, imperfect people.
Compassion for another human being is a strength we can use to enrich the embodiment of a higher spiritual power, and in very basic, practical application of wanting to know how to communicate with each other.
When we can see the light of love in others, we see it in ourselves. Not until. To do so, I will sometimes try to imagine that person as a little child. No more than a 3 or 4 year old. In that time of innocence before the world takes hold of their heart. Then, I walk with my own spiritual belief as I work toward understanding someone. It’s not always easy. Sometimes, nearly impossible. But it has to be done. That is how we heal the world. That is how we heal ourselves.
About the Author: Karen Henry, MA CRM owns Henry Healing as a holistic well-being practitioner and writer. She’s a former university professor and current scholar practicing the infusion of positive, existential and community psychology.