my heart looks like your heart

my heart looks like your heart

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

love > fear

i find it to be unfortunate that so many people are afraid to look at other people when they are in pain. people avoid the hurt almost as if it is contagious. not everyone can handle witnessing someone else in the midst of breaking, or sitting with someone as they flounder with a racing yet faint heart. people want to talk it away, walk it away, theorize it away, psychologize it away, tell others what they should do or feel or focus on instead. or sometimes, even avoid it altogether. it's almost like they are afraid because they don't know what to do so they just want it to go away ... even when it's not theirs. i don't know all there is to know, but i do know what it's like to hurt when someone else is hurting. and i also know the value of hurting *with someone. it's not necessary to project our own experiences and emotions onto another and turn hurt into anger or redirect anyone into negative thought patterns, away from love, just because they are hurting. it isn't healthier than feeling their way through the experience. when we detract from someone's experience and inject our own what-they-could-do, what-they-should-do, what-i-would-do, and when we cast blame and judge their story, we aren't being compassionate. we are stopping their process and getting our own junk out of our system, putting extra stuff on their plate that is already cracking under the weight, and we are moving them away from love. that is not what everyone needs in their time of pain. why is it not taught, how to be there for others? how to see the pain in others, and how to allow it, and how to sit with it, with them?
i was helping my son with his calculus homework the other night and i heard myself thinking out loud, "i don't know, man. i studied this too but i can honestly say i have never used it in my life." i am not saying there aren't people who do use it, i don't know any, but i'm sure some people besides high school math teachers do ... i just never needed it.
i also have never been in a situation where knowing which secret society Zhu Yuanzhang joined in 1352 before capturing the city of Nanjing and establishing it as the capital of the Ming dynasty ... made the world a better place or made one person feel encouraged, safe, loved ...
(my son argued that possibly nicolas cage might have been in such a situation in one of the national treasure movies ...)
nor have i been faced with a train going north at 143 mph with 982 passengers and a bird flying east with 5 lbs of sugar and needed to know at exactly what time "jeopardy" airs. (ok so maybe the jeopardy part)
again, i'm not saying these things are not important, and i am not disrespecting those whose daily lives revolve around this kind of information. i am just putting it out there for thought, that perhaps empathy and compassion might be taught with equal accountability, fervor, purpose, and promise. that in addition to these things that are taught and "required" for "advancement" in school & life ... how about some other things for enlightenment? to advance. to grow. to heal ourselves and each other. these are not on report cards or college exams or diplomas. but these are daily life skills that all of us can make a difference with, regardless of age, culture, race, career, religion, gender, sexuality ...
compassion is truly its own reward.
compassion is graceful.
compassion is always worth
the time it takes.

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