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The Wild World of Compassion

I have been reflecting on compassion those days.

As Ukraine is on the brink of war, where millions are at risk of losing their lives, freedom, and country, while this stays on the side of the "news" compare to louder white voices whose privileges and freedom have been "taken away".

In Canada alone, first nation people's struggles for freedom, clean water, and inclusion are constantly met with brutality and racism, systems of oppression, and colonialism, this hardly make the same people as outraged or involved on the front line.

Because somehow it's about "them" and not about "me".

Compassion invites us to expand our sense of self, and therefore our responsibilities and duties, and often require the sacrifice of our privileges, time, and resources for a greater collective that I allow myself to include beyond "I will pray for you" but with acts of care and compassion that includes "what do you need?" Or "what can I do for you?".

From a trauma and psychological perspective, bodies are often unable to have inner resources or the capacity to feel it all. And yet, that compassion requires to feel more. To feel it all.

But, if I carry my own trauma, I won't be able to serve in a good way until I have regained some sense of self and safety.

The great question is how to step into this greater work of service for the world, while I keep nurturing the "feeling my cup" so I do not get overwhelmed by the worst horrors of the world and keep feeling them all, while I also grow that unconditional love for this world and for myself (my own pain).

It is a delicate dance. Yet a necessary one.

Without it, we risk falling into false clarity and sense of self and into separation.

Without it, our life becomes a temporarily isolated island, unaware we are all connected by this great ocean.

As Andrew Boyd said "Compassion hurts. When you feel connected to everything, you also feel responsible for everything. And you cannot turn away. Your destiny is bound with the destinies of others. You must either learn to carry the Universe or be crushed by it. You must grow strong enough to love the world, yet empty enough to sit down at the same table with its worst horrors."

Angell Deer

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