Compassion Versus Pity
Compassion is a natural offering when an individual has gone into the depths of their own darkness. Being met with true compassion is deeply satisfying for someone in pain. No words are needed. Compassion's very essence heals.
On the flip side, many of us know the experience of giving or receiving pity. It's often a disempowering exchange wherein one party is the 'have' and the other is the 'have not'. One party may have good health; the other may not. One may have challenges with money; the other may not. One may have grief; the other may not. Pity can feel very sticky for the receiver.
But our true shared humanity is evidenced when we have found the parts within ourselves where we can truly relate to what the other person is experiencing. It takes a tremendous amount of courage and patience to delve into your SELF so thoroughly to find those connections. We may find fears around our own health that we didn't know we had. Fears about our own security. Grief that we didn't even know we had from unmet needs in our childhood.
As we touch into these places of darkness in us, they can begin to heal. And the radiance of the light that will shine from their healing is in direct proportion to the bleak darkness that was there before the healing.
Through that brilliant healing, we too can be natural extenders of compassion! And the pity party we can all throw for the death of pity will be a rocking good time. Wanna come? 😂
“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It's a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.” - Pema Chodron