B Here With Mindful Compassion
“Compassion is the key to creating peace within all of us.” ~ Michael Eisen via The Daily Love
Depending on your perspective, you probably believe the people of the world are either lacking or lavishing compassion.
If you’ve witnessed a heinous crime–the Aurora, Colorado shooting for example–or if you were in New York City the day of the World Trade Center attack, you may see the compassion glass as mostly empty.
Unless . . .
In either of those examples, you witnessed the tender ministering of folks taking care of each other. In those times, when humans draw deeply from their well of compassion and pour it over the injured and the devastated, they are mindfully compassionate. They are fully present to the moment in front of their eyes and hands; nothing else exists.
What About Non-Emergency Times?
You may have felt the overflow of goodness that naturally follows the leveling of a town following an F6 tornado, or Hurricane Katrina, or another natural disaster.
These times call for the kind words and volunteerism of the Red Cross and other relief organizations.
But I’d like to know how you respond to everyday circumstances and to the people in your everyday lives. Are you mindfully compassionate with them?
Definition: Mindful is the inclination to be aware.
Definition: Compassion is the sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it (both definitions according to Webster).
A little further research offers the following about compassion:
“Com-passion: Com (with) – passion (strong feeling, enthusiasm); to be with another in strong feeling and with enthusiasm.”
“Compassion, then, does not require sadness, sorrow or even the desire to help, though it could include all these things. It simply means being fully present with someone no matter the circumstances of his or her life.”
“Compassion suspends judgment and takes each circumstance equally — each as a moment of life to be lived in its fullness.”
“Compassion comes with no preconceptions. It has no attitudes. It has no special face or tone of voice.”
“Compassion is prepared to meet others wherever they are, recognizing that the circumstance or challenge they now face is as much a part of their life as any other part of their life.”
~ essay by Jay Litvin
A Personal Example
I’m writing this post as a call to action for myself too. I struggle with “meeting others wherever they are,” as Mr. Litvin describes. The people who are closest to me are often the most challenging when it comes to being present to their circumstances.
I want to fix them when they hurt. I want to do all the research to find the answers they need. I want to present all possible scenarios to them and help them prepare for anything and everything.
Mindful compassion, however, is none of those things. It is instead, quite simply, being present. The crucial part? Let the person with whom I’m present, tell me anything else that is needed.
Mindful compassion is learning to B Here–and then wait.
How have you experienced mindful compassion? Please share a comment below.