Who is Compassion?
The origin of the word, compassion, is from ecclesiastical Latin, ‘compati’ – ‘suffer with’. I have been considering the notion of compassion a lot lately, as I move through my own world interfacing with others. I prefer to think of it not as ‘suffer with’ but as ‘be with’. My ‘being with’ presupposes, for me, that I am up to witnessing and experiencing the chaos and its resulting discomfort in my own body that is triggered by standing with you in yours. Why is it that we can consider compassion for others but we deny ourselves to actively consider ‘being with’ as our own invitation to ourselves to remember who we are, not what we have been told to believe we are? If we are incapable of embracing compassion for ourselves, then how can we really bear witness to others in the presence of their own perceived suffering? When I consider the word, compassion, as my willingness to ‘be with’, then I know that its real meaning for me is about me de-cloaking and dropping the mask on all the things that I can hide behind to make me right; then, maybe, I’ll be worthy of your compassion, your ‘being with’ me. The paradox is that, until, I de-cloak, if only to myself alone, what I cannot and will no longer stand in, and, until I can admit that my discomfort is real for me in my own skin, then I cannot even extend the invitation, to you, to just ‘be with’ me. I actually refuse you my gift of me so that there is no way that you can really extend and offer the gift of yourself to me. De-cloaking is about me ‘being’ real and authentic ‘with’ me when I am engaged in myself with you. My compassion for you means, then, my authentic engagement of myself as my invitation to you to reveal your own truth in the security of your own safety – as we stand present to each other. I, as Godforce, bear witness to you as Godforce. Compassion is my invitation for me to ‘be with’ me and for you to ‘be with’ you and for us to ‘be with’ each other. Authentic, free and alive.
Posted: December 6th, 2007 under Spirituality & Self-Discovery.