A compassionate response to a friend or loved one who is suffering is a powerful, effortless, and perfect response of knowing. So the question is, if compassion requires “knowing,” how can we be compassionate if we don’t feel as if we know answers about their situation? How can we be compassionate with ourselves and heal our own lives?

Compassion is an ascended posture of knowing, but I left out the good part.  This “magical ascended knowing posture” is also your authentic self.  The big epiphany we awaken to is that we don’t know how to be compassionate because we don’t know ourselves (or we are afraid to be ourselves in relationships). In order to express compassion, we have some healing to do. When we know ourselves, we are compassion. Within every interaction we seek to remember this powerful, knowing state.

The key to knowing ourselves is hidden in the word ascension. Ascension is spiritual transformation from suffering.

Ascension is spiritual transformation from suffering.

Ascension is a natural part of healing when we begin the practice of compassion (stay tuned that post is coming soon). This is another clue to the benevolence of the universe. We only have the ability to know ourselves when we are free of suffering. The only time we suffer is when we are not ourselves. It is an elegant design.

To be clear, we do not need to die to ascend and be free of our pain, and yet ascension is a form of death. I know that sounds paradoxical given some religious interpretations of the this concept. This is how I know it, and please consider it if it serves your practice.

Ascension is the ability to be free of suffering as we spiritually evolve. It is a compassionate universal gift within us all. Ascension is a mind/body process of spiritual transformation reaching higher levels of consciousness. Many associate this level of freedom, peace and bliss with the concept of Heaven and death, but it available to all of us as we heal and learn.

When we feel discomfort around others who are suffering or we don’t know how to help, it means we are being awakened to something in ourselves that needs healing. It means there is something in us we need to understand. What it means is that we don’t know. This is okay. One of the healthiest steps we take in healing is to accept that we don’t know sometimes.

The journey of helping others teaches us the most important thing of all. We can’t help anyone without the gift of authentic self.  We realize the profound benevolence of this place—it is all being done for me. Whether I’m helping my child or neighbor or friend, every interaction is designed to help me know myself. And to know myself, I must be free of suffering. It’s beautiful and attainable.

Compassion is not only a response for others, it is simply who we are. We begin the practice of compassion as a way we heal ourselves regardless of the choices of others. Compassion is a way of taking responsibility for ourselves and releasing codependence in our relationships in a way that is highest for others.

Next week the post is “More Stuff About Compassion…”

Happy Spring Day Everyone!!