Galen Pearl

Galen Pearl

Galen Pearl

A Touch of Compassion

Touch. Many people are expressing a need for touch in this time of pandemic social distancing. We miss being touched. We miss touching others. 
We think of touch as an external, physical connection. But touch can also be internal, emotional, energetic. We can touch with the heart of compassion. Absolutely anything that arises in our field of awareness can be touched with compassion. 
This is easy when we are naturally drawn to an experience that “touches” our heart – a child in distress, a friend in need, an animal suffering. We instinctively reach out to comfort, to soothe, to support. But what happens when something does not attract our sympathy, when something arises that we draw away from or judge or fear? 
Can I touch with compassion someone who cuts me off in traffic, for example? Perhaps. How about someone who is mean to me or to someone I love? Harder. What if I am watching something on the news that leaves me in despair or sparks outrage? Sometimes impossible. What do I do when compassion is not forthcoming? 
Easy. I touch my resistance with compassion. I touch my judgment of others with compassion. 
Maybe I judge myself for my compassion fail. No problem. Touch that judgment with compassion. Our own hurt places, our shame, our insecurities, our painful memories, our regrets, our embarrassment, our self criticism, our anxieties and fears – yes, all these can be touched with compassion. Whatever arises is what is calling to us for acknowledgment, acceptance, compassion. 
And if I am unable to feel any compassion for these dark places? If I am unable to even look at them, much less touch them? Yes, you are catching on. Touch that inability with compassion. 
Touch. Touch connects, softens, comforts, heals. And it opens. It opens us to the next layer that asks for compassion. And the next. Until compassion pours forth from us like the gentle rain that falls on everything without regard to merit. Nourishing, cleansing, spurring growth and beauty. 
So give it a try. For five minutes watch comes into your awareness. Whatever it is, touch it with compassion. See what happens.
Compassion is revolution. ~bumper sticker

10 thoughts on “A Touch of Compassion”

  1. Oh, I love this. It's just what I needed to hear today (and tomorrow) to help me through this difficult time in the history of the world. I will watch parts of the impeachment trial with your admonition front and center. Thank you for all your thoughtful posts, and know that I read every one and ponder your messages.

  2. This is not the easiest advice, Galen, but it is absolutely necessary for our lives to feel complete. I will treat my shortcomings with compassion from here on out.
    Blessings, my friend!

  3. Remember that it starts with compassion for yourself, CW. As for others, one technique I've used is to say "God bless (name) and please help me mean it." Ha!

  4. Thank you DJan. (Hopefully less of an admonition and more of an encouraging suggestion!) I appreciate your kind words. Your posts are always full of thoughtful compassion.

  5. Lovely, Galen, and this is so related to kindness. There has been much talk about kindness lately for what so many people are going through, I hope it makes its mark. As for, if I may call them, evil deeds,it is asking what feels like too much to feel kindness or compassion towards the perpetrators, but we can remind ourselves we have no idea what is going on within that person or the life they have lived, their world view, their social needs, their culture. So even if the acts are reprehensible in our view, objectivity can be there to avoid adding anger into the mix. Cheers for now :>)

  6. Thanks, Lynne. Your observation about evil deeds reminded me of the horrible event years ago when a man went into an Amish schoolhouse and killed or injured all the girls. He then shot himself before he could be apprehended. Afterwards, much was made about the Amish practice of forgiveness. One writer said that it was not about lack of accountability. Had the shooter lived, the Amish would have supported whatever consequences the law imposed on the shooter…and then visited him in prison. That was a helpful distinction to me. Thanks for commenting.

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