From a beloved reader:
Sometimes the heart of man gets confused. Some reach out in violence in an attempt to connect. They have become so angry, they lash out in venomous spite of their own hurt.
I’ve noticed that if I accept at base that there are those on the planet who, thrashing around in their own roiling pain inflict pain on others, it allows me a different space of understanding and possibility. When I fully realize that this, too, is present here, I open to what is possible for ME, in it all.
We do not have to feel at one with such things to open our heart in compassion. There is a deeper responsibility in matters of the heart than sentiments can possibly evoke. The compassion of which we speak here is of stronger stuff than that. Our responsibility in these things goes far beyond feelings. When we get caught in the dynamic of that which is happening, we are lost in the suffering, itself. When we, instead, drop into a deeper matrix – that space from which we have all originated before we began to get confused – we can find the sustenance we need to effect change that is more kind.
Our true responsibility is to attend to the sacred heart of kindness, which does not have sentiment as part of either its evocation or its delivery. The responsibility of kindness is firm, steadfast and solid and ever looks within for the guidance and the strength to follow through on its path.
Maintaining our own intention to do no harm, and to allow for the healing possible to, for and through us in any given moment happens here – in this moment. In this. No matter what this “this” is. And no matter how the pain of the moment is being expressed or inflicted. Sometimes the compassionate expression of our heart in the moment of need is a forceful directive for change. To love those who are hurting is not to condone or support hurtful behavior, but rather to seek the skillful means by which EACH person in that dynamic is set free from the knot of recurring pain.
Since the details of this dynamic will vary according to the circumstance, we remain open to approach each specific situation simply with this intention: that we be available to the action needed in THIS moment for what we find – here. Reconfiguring what compassion looks like (or feels like) gives us greater bandwidth to do what is really needed. Skillful means sometimes looks harsh on the outside; but if our intention remains clear to reduce suffering; to do no harm, we will be cutting away the chaff not the heart of that which needs attention.
So, the point of all this is to focus less on feeling at one with a hurtful dynamic, and to utter the prayer of “what is needed here?” when we meet it. Then, to act courageously in the way to which we are called.