Compassion is not passive. It is a recognition of suffering – the quivering of the heart – followed by the motivation to do something about it. Yet, there are times we cannot take away the suffering. Think about someone you know who was upset, sad or frustrated. You recognized their suffering and the feeling of wanting to ease it. What did you do? Did it help?
Often times we want to fix the problem, offer advice, or speak in a way that we think will remove the suffering. These actions can be useful, but sometimes they are futile. This can leave us feeling helpless. Offering our presence, simply being with the person as they move through their suffering is often the most meaningful action we can take. How does one offer presence?
First, as you recognize another’s suffering and your pull to ease it, pause and notice where you feel…
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