The Wounds of Compassion

The wound is the place where the light enters you. ~ Rumi

I believe it was yogi John McAfee who offered that at some point in our lives, we have all wanted a person to be an illusion.

Mea culpa.

I grew up holding fairy tales in one hand and the threat of nuclear annihilation in the other. Diving under desks was part of our monthly grammar school ritual. How on earth this was to protect us from the A-bomb, few of us understood or believed – though we may have wanted to. I remember wanting very much to trust the adult world in general, but it did not arise spontaneously. A sense of safety was not to be sated, either at home or afield. And so I winged it. My imagination soared with perhaps more frequency than was healthy at times. Still my feet sought the ground of Mother Earth – I could not seem to settle on or about asphalt. And so I courted the life of the hermit.

Withdrawing into myself proved the healthiest alternative, and life in the Maine woods provided an idyllic setting. Which is not to say it solved the bulk of my problems. Confusion reigned, even as I sheltered my spirit from the harm my personality – desirous of impossibly fitting in – would otherwise have done. Being a round peg in a world full of square slots proved difficult for my young self to accept.

Fast-forward forty years and the acceptance settles in with greater ease. And yet there are still times when the seeming and often unintentional cruelty of others sears through my delicate skin like a bad tattoo. It does not, however – like permanent ink – disfigure me. Rather it finds me retreating time and again to ponder meaning in human gestures and words, mostly those which are misguided or unexpressed. For all the resultant benefit invisibly written in the ethers, it helps me here and now in reincorporating the wholehearted desire that all beings be free from suffering.

Unless we miraculously collectively awaken to our noblest qualities, expecting guilelessness to return in kind may be unrealistic. Yet and still I seek to understand my fellows, for we share the same trials and troubles, albeit in different guises and spheres. This simple desire promotes greater ease in fundamentally embracing the other as myself, and the walls of separation begin to crumble – first in my mind and then in my world. Again I am not certain what these small actions accomplish; only that I am compelled to exercise my better judgment.

14 thoughts on “The Wounds of Compassion

    1. Heh-heh, thanks Greg – easier said than done! It seems that it’s everywhere sometimes and nowhere at others – and often people don’t even know they’re ‘doing’ anything – or at least I tell myself that, as there’s no logical explanation! I think there are so many changes going on these days, for SO many people – that instead of looking inward and pondering the meaning and acceptance of CHANGE, many folks just act out in whatever way they are accustomed to. Humanity! Gotta love ’em.

  1. Indeed, wound remains the place from where the light enters! But the filters and barricades remain with us. What comes in thus is usually a different coloured and shaped light to what had been intended. What does this do to the wound? Heal or aggravate?

    “Hiding under the table” is really about finding our very own secret nook of solace and dreams. Where we can be without pretences and the need to live upto someone else’s standards. This thus remains a lifelong initiative, far beyond the halcyon and carefree days of our childhood.

    As always Bela, I appreciate you for the post.


  2. Ah, my friend – at first I read, and it caused me to smile to myself … “What does this do to the WORLD?” For this is my concern, and why I continually strive to heal whatever is wounded, whether in myself or other living beings. For everything that goes out creates ripples.

    But I digress. What you say has validity, to my mind – what comes through, depending on the filters we hold in place (whether consciously or unconsciously) may be altered from its original pattern or color – but isn’t this the universal design? For why create a race of sentient humans, knowing how they will reproduce – knowing each is so very different (and yet the same in our Oneness with all of creation), if not to see, nay even delight in what we all choose to do with the light that is given? I can’t help but believe that creation weeps when we suffer, knowing the simplicity inherent in this design – but also that it sings with joy to see the plan played out in myriad forms.

    (Rambling.) Heal or aggravate seems to be the result of each choice made … even by the most well-intentioned. None of us is superconscious yet – not all the time. I don’t believe so, anyway.

    I love your perception of “hiding under the table.” The best time is spent alone, where I regroup and then once again long to be in the company of others. It’s a nice dance which works well for me.

    And I, too, appreciate You!

  3. Writing is a great way to distance yourself from the hysteria out in the world. I find that I have less and less interest in what people fill their minds with, and the babble they use and mistake for conversation. I would much rather read your comments and these of some of my most prized blog friends.

    1. “The babble they use and mistake for conversation.” Breath of fresh air, Ronnie.

      It’s interesting you mention you’d rather read comments from fellow WP bloggers. I don’t know if anyone can quite understand this little community who is NOT a writer. By nature, I believe most of us live pretty solitary lives – or at least solitary in the sense that we contemplate, think deeply, look behind fences and into babies’ eyes more deeply than the average bear.

      At times this kind of existence seems lonely – or maybe it’s just me who longs to sip from the deep cup of face-to-face meaningful interaction with thoughtful, contemplative folk – more often than I do. But then I realize how blessed I am to have even a small handful of these treasured beings in my life – even when they are oceans away.

      Blessings on the day!

  4. I have a young cousin who is autistic – I suppose one might consider that a wound, at least in the archetypal sense…And sometimes when conversing with her, it feels repetetive – yet she is very funny, and bright, and a joy to be with. She is so curious, that she won’t simply accept the ‘stock’ answer anyone gives, she has to dig down to what it really means. In this case, the ‘wound’ is really where the light gets in.

    Ronnie has me thinking a bit about conversation, about the time it requires to get depth and meaning. Perhaps that is why we turn to the web, where conversations can take place, often more meaningful than face to face conversations, because we are each conversing within our respective convenient times – or something like that. Where we don’t take things for granted, or make assumptions…

    There are many round pegs trying to fit into square slots, and indeed, square pegs trying to fit into round (we fit, but not tightly). How wise of you to investigate the ‘other’. A pleasure as always, Bela.

    1. VivianLea, I love your wisdom. I hadn’t thought about this in quite the same way – “we are each conversing within our respective convenient times” – but it’s worth contemplating. I believe there’s truth in what you say. We eliminate the knee-jerk of assumption and delve straight to the heart of the subject matter we’ve taken time to explore more fully. And I’m also a visual person, so it eliminates the confusion of overstimulation and puts focus on the words (and sometimes images) alone.

      I wonder as well if it’s because, when we enter these kinds of selective online gateways, we cast a wider net to seine in more like-minded folk … and in this WP community, that happens to be fellow writers! Thus we discover more profundity and cautious care due to the fact that writers themselves are, by nature, sensitive thinkers and mullers …

      Take care dear, and thanks as always for your comments.

  5. So so so so so so so beautiful. Growing up, I used writing as my safety and security (and as a way to escape the pain that I was feeling). It isn’t until I began writing my memoir in January that I began to see how even though it hurts to dig up my past connected with my CP, there is a certain amount of pure strength to be found in struggles.

    1. Yes, Amelia – I think it’s a bit of what drew me to your writing as well – though you suffered far more physically while my wounds were more hidden (emotionally). And thankfully for all the chaos of a volatile home environment, for all the lack of safety on so many levels, nobody ever violated my journals! What a gift! I could write whatever I wanted and feel SAFE.

      I also remember in my 20’s and 30’s the residual of fear and self loathing that were a result of years of emotional suppression. And so going back and healing that past was extremely painful – to admit the truth of what was going on inside and to even suppose what it might have been on the outside was quite agonizing at times – illusions were so firmly in place. And so again I can relate to you going back and reliving, in a sense, the pain your young body had to experience.

      And yes, isn’t there strength to be discovered in struggle! I’m a firm believer that humans are by nature pretty lazy, and thus learn far better through adversity. And that we triumph in the face of it – well, there are volumes to fill about that!

      Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy your time in Ireland! How fabulous for you!

    1. Thanks sweetie. It’s a wonderful experience to have the support of this little community. I often wonder in life how much is perception and how much is causality … But never mind. Your posts are always a breath of fresh air. I love your life almost as much as my own! 😀

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