Interactions with others can sometimes create the awareness that some people experience so much pain from significant people in their lives that compassion doesn’t seem possible. The hurt is so profound! Not too long ago an occurrence brought me to an intense experience.
Tears were flowing! Words seem to be saying, “compassion is impossible for me” referring to a significant person in her life’s experience. Consoling wasn’t possible. Time’s passage, also time’s reflecting on its impact, didn’t seem an option for altering its Influence. Saddened by her tears, I offered some thoughts regarding moving forward with what I felt was self-compassion. Suddenly, I was saddened because somehow I didn’t realize that words were empty, comfort was the need of the moment. Then, who really understands the need of each moment of sorrow? Yet, I think I learned something about myself for future moments of encounter with my sisters and brothers overwhelmed with suffering. Surely there will always be surprises as I sense the frailty of my human nature.
My reflections also brought me to our whole universe daily penetrated with words and actions filling all of creation with pain. There is a desire, a call to embrace not only one person with compassion, but the whole world. An enormous mission held by countless people worldwide. Celebrating the Tenth Anniversary of the Charter for Compassion is a consolation that love and compassion are universal. But then we have the daily reminders of a world encompassed by global pain.
At some point, I heard the words of Joanna Macy: “The heart that breaks open can contain the whole universe.” The heart is present to me in several images, sizes and colors which daily remind me of the pain of Creation. What could containing the whole universe possibly mean for me, for all of us? We are presently in Week Three of the ecumenical Season of Creation (September 1 – October 4) which calls us to dwell as sisters and brothers in a common home with a web of life made up of millions of species. This can give us a sense of the universe, but there is so much more, known and unknown.
We are sisters and brothers entrusted with Creation – all of it! Do we have the courage to break open our hearts to contain the whole universe? Its mystery is overwhelming! We are the ones responsible to fill the world with love and compassion, one moment at a time, one person at a time, and on and on we live with each challenge, with each call. Remember, the world is depending on you and me.
On November 12, 2019 the Charter for Compassion will celebrate its tenth anniversary.
Join us, the World needs your Love, Compassion and Wisdom.