The Circle of Compassion

This morning I was thinking about something that I read from Pema Chodron:

Recently I was talking with an old man who has been living on the streets for the last four years. Nobody ever looks at him. No one ever talks to him. Maybe somebody gives him a little money, but nobody ever looks in his face and asks him how he’s doing. The feeling that the essence of compassionate speech or compassionate action is to be there for people, without pulling back in horror or fear or anger.

Being compassionate is a pretty tall order. All of us are in relationships every day of our lives, but particularly if we are people who want to help others – people with cancer, people with AIDS,abused women or children, abused animals, anyone who’s hurting – something we soon notice is that the person we set out to help may trigger unresolved issues in us.

Even though we want to help, and maybe we do help for a few days or a month or two, sooner or later someone walks through that door and pushes all our buttons. We find ourselves hating those people or scared of them or feeling like we just can’t handle them.

This is true always, if we are sincere about wanting to benefit others. Sooner or later, all our own unresolved issues will come up; we’ll be confronted with ourselves”.




2 thoughts on “The Circle of Compassion

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