Like the mother of the world, touch each being as your beloved child.
Compassion: the sacred gift of seeing, hearing, touching each other’s hearts, knits wounds and binds us together in our humanity. Compassion, a gentle flow of lovingkindness, heals both receiver and giver. We are all healers and are all wounded. Together we become whole.
Positive Psychology teaches what we intuitively know. Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky, researcher and professor of psychology at UCLA, Riverside, has found that compassionate acts graciously offered boost happiness and self-image, strengthening one other and our sense of community: opening us to fulfillment and well-being.
Below is a piece I composed when reflecting on the compassion of Chaplain Jane Korins, Director of Chaplaincy, North Shore Medical Center, Salem, MA.
COMPASSION: The Heart of Healing
Michele C. Tamaren
What is compassion, that holy gift of solace and comfort and tenderness in the face of suffering: the compassion that is beyond words, the compassion that shines through the heart, the soul, the hands of those who truly care?
At times compassion is sitting quietly, listening, opening up and showing up, pure presence. Other times it’s being a witness to pain. We can’t always lessen the anguish, but compassion holds its tremulous hand, gazes into its watery eye.
Tending the light when another hasn’t the strength or turns away is the work of the compassionate. It may mean dimming one’s own glow in the moment or sitting in the dark shielding the flame so that only the warmth is felt.
Sometimes, though, compassion is being there in celebration as well as in sorrow. What if someone shared a gift, a song, a smile, and no one listened, no one cared, no one came? We need others to rejoice with us as well as to mourn. We need to be held in our brightness, to see reflected the light that shines through us.
Compassion nurses human hunger with the milk of kindness. Compassion is the Light within. It is our birthright, our birth light. Its source is The Source. It shines in our souls and in our eyes. It’s what sparks us and unites us. Compassion is as easy and as hard as opening our hearts and our minds, our souls and our hands and our lips in service. It’s sharing and shining Divine Light, lighting the world, one spark at a time.