You have one. We all do. It just gets covered over with a protective shell of fear about your own survival. Or it is buried and forgotten in a busy and sometimes frantic daily life. We get lost in our own worries and concerns and forget about the others we share the world with. We lose sight of the fact that everyone else around us is living lives very similar to our own at the most basic level, beginning with birth and ending with death. Yet isn’t life about more than that really? Aren’t we greater than the events of our lives? Isn’t there a thread that ties us together, in spite of our differences?
That thread is compassion. We were born with a compassionate heart, and it is repeatedly awakened whenever we experience someone else’s pain or joy as our own. Today, on this planet, there is a quiet but universal awakening occurring in which we are finding the compassion deep in our hearts. At times of crisis or catastrophe, the shell of self-protection breaks open, and we feel deeply for our fellow human beings, often giving money, food, clothing, or whatever is needed to help. We feel that way too when we share in someone else’s happiness or good fortune. Our compassionate heart is always ready to shine its light of love outward. It’s a natural part of being a human soul in physical form. That’s why we are here, really: to become aware of our individual separateness as an illusion, and oneness as the greater truth.
Selfishness and lack of compassion are habits. Ones we learn from a very early age in this culture. We are frequently taught that when someone else wins, we lose, and that “on top” is the best place to be. In spite of countless spiritual or religious teachings about love and sharing with others, the overriding voice of this society insists “look out for yourself” and “don’t let anyone else take advantage of you.” It becomes a habitual trigger response to the world, and you lose your connection to that thread of compassion that ties you to other beings on this planet. And to your self as well. Because if you don’t love and have compassion for yourself, you are incapable of having it for others.
The key to stepping out of your conditioning and awakening compassion is patience, with others and with yourself: patience as a daily practice that is cultivated with each conscious breath you take. This opens the door to peaceful loving relationships in all parts of your life. It may take time to reverse the collective trend toward mistrust and separation, but it is possible if we are patient and committed. The kind and gentle child who lives within us is just waiting for acknowledgment and encouragement. Each time one of us is generous or caring in word or deed to another on this planet, we are shifting the energy for all of us. In that shift, the silent message is: “You are not alone.”
Compassion is the reason you were born: love creates life. Divine love and compassion created the universe and lives in your very cells. When we open to the compassion within us, we find the true meaning of life. It’s not about money or fame or accumulating possessions, as we are so often told. It’s about sharing love with others. It’s about generosity of spirit. Caring for self and others with equal gentleness and understanding. Compassion is a circle really. And we are all part of it, at the deepest level. The love you give returns to you and fills your compassionate heart with joy, overflowing into greater and greater expressions of love in the world.