By Anastasiya Lyudkevich
There are many things that bring people together. Sometimes it’s love, other times it’s a common enthusiasm or experience. But there is nothing quite as the commonality we all share, which is suffering. Suffering is part of the human experience and as it hardens, stiffens, constricts, saddens, angers us, it also breaks that same outer hard shell exposing a soft, gentle, expansive, loving, human, and compassionate heart.
Suffering is inevitable, impersonal, yet personal enough for us to experience it and allow it to transform us. Suffering is impermanent. It comes and goes, ebbs and flows, you cannot escape it, and yet you cannot hold onto it no matter how bitter the heart becomes. Suffering gives rise to the soft state that cultivates in each and every one of us, the gentleness of compassion.
Compassion is the soft breeze that is felt on a hot summer day, delivering you from one more unbearable windless moment. It comes to you when you get out of the way of trying to escape suffering and accept it as a part of life. It is a refinement process of the heart. Compassion arises when we take away the circumstances of our suffering and see that suffering visits us all, with different faces, yet creates alchemy in us all. Compassion swells when we see that we are utterly powerless over being human. Compassion softens the temporary suffering yet it does not take it away.
So as you sit and wonder if your pain is greater than someone else’s, your injustices and victimhood are worse than the next, remember that suffering is impersonal. Its visit is inevitable, invite your guest in for some tea. And when you sit with suffering long enough, if you be human with it, it may bear its gift, the gift of compassion.
I am a mother, nurse, student, living the dream on the leading edge. Find me on Instagram @Anastasiya_Lyudkevich.