Did you know that compassion has a magical healing power? I am sure you do. But I am not talking about the compassion we receive from others, which helps heal our pain, that you most probably have heard of. Here I am talking about a different scenario. It is the compassion that springs from our core and flows outwards towards those others who are grieving, that, I say, has the magical power to heal our own grief, before others. Simply put, in our attempt to comfort other grievers, out of pure compassion, we are healed first, as a result of it. It’s not just that. Compassion towards others has a lot of other benefits too. So, today we are talking about the merits of nurturing compassion in your heart, specially when you are mourning.
Grieving is personal and mostly self-centred. Every one of us, adults, know this nature of grief, as we have experienced, at least once, how it feels like to lose a loved one. If not yet, we will definitely confront that situation multiple times during our lifetime. (If we speak honestly and truthfully, we, all of us, have no power to avoid experiencing bereavement.) So, we know that when experiencing bereavement, there are times when we are overwhelmed with sense of self-pity.
We often ask “why me?” or “why they (our late beloved)?” in our deepest sorrow.
Most of our tears are shed in the name of us or our late beloved. In such shattered moments, we momentarily forget that the death or the bereavement, in any form, is not exclusive to us. We forget that it is a universal experience that every single person confronts with, at any point of their life. Instead, we start thinking that we were discriminated, unfairly treated, and left alone to experience the cruelty of losing loved ones. We lose the ability to be rational, and to see ourselves as ordinary persons, in terms of the nature of life, which is fair for every human. You can read more about how ordinary and similar we are, in the face of nature and how that mere perception of commonality helps us heal, on my previous post called Solidarity with Nature.
If truth be told, these tears spring from our craving to be with our late beloved, to have more of their company… Isn’t it? We miss them. We are used to live with them around us and hence we do not know how to live without them. Something we so deeply loved was taken away from us, along with our happiness. Just stop for a moment. It is always the sense of ‘me’ or ‘my’, that brings us misery, isn’t it? The more we indulge in these thoughts of self-pity, is more we are devastated with negative thoughts about life…
Let compassion grow in you
As much as we suffer with the self-centred despair, we get relief by letting go of the thoughts surrounding the self. The best way to get rid of ‘self’ is to learn the bereavement experiences that other people have undergone.
Maybe, you have already heard about other grievers’ stories before, but believe me that it is different now when you hear them while you have a living first-hand experience of your own. You would find that you are more empathetic now and you have something more to tell them, to console them…
Beauty of compassion – magical power of healing
Most surprising is that you forget your own pain while your mind is filled with compassion towards another saddened person.
This is the secret and the beauty of compassion! There is no room for self-pity in you when you are concerned about another person, but not you or anything that is yours.
Unlike self-pity, compassion flows outwards, from your core to the outside world. The ultimate result of such outpouring of compassion is that you loosen up the tightness in your chest.
Therefore, listening to other grievers is one of the best treatments for your own grief. A shrewd mind quickly learns this magical healing power of compassion and finds their healing path through the same.
Insight through learning others’ experience
Another noticeable phenomenon, when we open up to learn the other grieving stories, is that we find that there are worse situations than ours, no matter how wretched we are. Surprisingly, this is true for all of us (though, it might look arguable).
Listening to others’ grief is always an eye-opener, not only to the universal reality of life – the impermanence -, but also to the depth of the pain the others are subjected to, while we are confined to our own misery, thinking that we are alone in our loss. Also, our notion that we are in the worst possible pain of loss is challenged by this enlightenment we gain by expanding our horizons.
Reinvent happiness after bereavement
When you realize that the world is full of grievers, and that they have worse stories than yours, naturally you seek to help them, triggered by empathy and the feeling that you do it in the name of your late beloved. There again, when your mind is engaged in thoughts of others (rather, anything other than your loss), it is your own pain that is soothed first. You get real pleasure, for the first time after your loss, when you see the positive outcomes of your meritorious deeds. And that’s how you reinvent your pleasure – the happiness in life.
Involvement in charity (offering deeds, words or materials), in the name of the late loved ones, sometimes might turn out to be an addiction, for a very long time or forever – for some people. But there is nothing wrong in this addiction. The hidden truth in this kind of charity is that the donor gets more relief than the recipient and at both ends are grievers. So, I think we all should try to become donors, as they recover first in this exercise.
No wonder why there are plenty of philanthropists in this world…
How do you rank the post today? What is your experience about compassion becoming a useful tool in life? I am sure you all have first-hand experience of either receiving or offering compassion, to heal yourself from grief. I’d like to hear from you, so please voice your thoughts below.