Journeying with compassion is like sailing through an ocean. Sometimes it is plain and peaceful, many other times it can be stormy and traumatic. To take care of others feelings and vulnerability with utmost politeness and sensitivity so as not to trigger them is one kind of compassion. I call this soft compassion. Being compassionate can many a times also trigger the other’s vulnerability. With clarity and wisdom this is a necessary evil.
Imagine a young child whom is curious about sticking his/her fingers into the edge of a door. One can understand that the young child maybe unable to comprehend the danger of this act. For the sake of the young child learning it the hard and dangerous way, one need to warn him/her. Children as children, they are always fearless in exploring the world. One may need to discipline them in a stronger way so as it will instil fear of their possibly dangerous act. This process may trigger fear and pain in the child but this is also out of compassion. Delivering this compassion may require firm and hard stances. I call this hard compassion.
Soft and hard delivery of compassion is the duality of approaching the ocean of compassion. The art of the types of delivery for that moment is usually based on the clarity, wisdom and strength of the giver. In the drawing where the Goddess of Mercy is sailing through the ocean. Above the water it is just her pure compassionate light and clarity. Below the water is her strength and wisdom symbolises by her dragon. With all these elements she is able to sail through the vast ocean under all weather condition emanating compassion. Hence journey on compassion is never easy, but through the journey one is being groom on clarity, wisdom and strength.
A recent experience of being a caretaker of a suffering immobile love ones brought me through the journey of sailing from soft compassion to hard compassion. The transition from the plain quiet sea to the raging stormy ocean of compassion certainly tested my limits and breaking down at times. As a giver of compassion and caretaker of the suffering the first compassion have to be to ourself. When the stress is too much, stop, slow down and ground ourself to regain our clarity.
Always be compassionate to ourself when we are unable to journey through. It is okay to stop first to regain our bearing and only when we are ready then move on. The compassionate journey always starts from ourself. Through the journey our clarity, wisdom and strength will be groom and chiseled to emanate more in the journey of compassion.