How do we reconcile with the pain and suffering that confront us daily? With television and the Internet, visual images of human agony abound. If we open ourselves even a little bit to it, we feel swamped and helpless. The more we bury it, the more we detach and become silent.
Read these inspiring words about a fiercely compassionate response to sorrow, here:
The anguish of the human condition is impossible to hold without divine help, and without a community of intrepid and compassionate others who join with us.
Many women and men who have survived unbelievable horrors or who have witnessed the unbearable and have borne it, develop a fierce compassion that flows toward others. Their phenomenal courage speaks to us and demonstrates that we can carry on. They have dealt with the unimaginable, survived, and have a wisdom born of their endurance. They have not run from it, nor shut it off through drink or drugs. By being in it and with it they allow the pain to flow through their bodies. It never leaves totally, but its presence becomes a reminder of the sanctity and fragility of the gift of life. It is a prod to reach out to others in pain, to confront evil and negligence when it appears. These stories of such people are everywhere. A father whose son was killed in an industrial accident spends his time educating young people about safety on the job site. A woman whose daughter was murdered collects money for others in her situation so that that can get some time away to heal.
Connecting with this truth gives us power to be in the world with Fierce Compassion. We can only do this by not running from the pain and staying awake. When life is being threatened, we allow ourselves to feel our rage and become energized to take steps to ameliorate what we see. We become less afraid to let the fierceness show and stand our ground.