“Seemingly all of a sudden
I realized that I had the capacity
to love every person and thing."
— Albert K. Strong
Compassion. It’s a word that is bandied about with ease. And my understanding of the word is different from the definition in the dictionary that I just read: “a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering." That’s like saying, “I feel sorry for you and your affliction(s), here’s my ten-step method for curing your ills and releasing your suffering." Silly.
Compassion to me is a grand word, filled with practical and powerful selfless love without any agenda or need of repair. What a radical difference.
I have to share this beautiful and insightful quote by one of my favorite old “new age" thinkers, Albert Einstein.
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."
I take issue with only one short phrase: “Our task must be to. . ." There really aren’t any rules, and any observant person of the world around us can see that not so many are accepting this task, regardless of the stature of the person suggesting it. No, it’s not a must. It’s a potential choice. I say potential because we can choose yes and we can choose to ignore it completely.
I have been on this journey of learning to make use of what Abraham, Esther Hicks calls the Art of Allowing. This art or activity is the essence of compassion to me. As I allow others to be what they choose for themselves, and as I don’t insist that they be a certain way on my behalf, I am loving them without condition. There is no better way to define the Art of Allowing to me.
I’ve been practicing for some time now, but it is only in the most recent years that I have taken off the training wheels so to speak. In releasing myself to practice my own version of compassion in the Art of Allowing, and in expressing and feeling unconditional love, I have come so much closer to the person I truly want to be inside and out.