you have to be connected to your own experience of yourself in order to really connect to another person.
you will not know how to help someone else if you are not connecting to how you help yourself. you touch your heart, and you feel the feel the pain that is there, you lean back and receive comfort. when you feel the hunger in your belly, the tired and aching muscles of your body, you can know how to hear about someone else having that experience — this is about compassion.
you think - and you have been operating under the understanding - that the way you have compassion for someone’s pain is that you leave your own experience to be in the experience of that other person. but that is not compassion, that is disassociation. that is saying to yourself, my experience is not worthy, my experience is nothing. you are becoming hollow, actually, when you do your work in this way. you are not coming from your whole heart and whole body.
the way to have compassion for someone is to start by being grounded in and connected to yourself. because in that way you can hear someone’s words, you can hear someone’s experience. and even though your experience might be that you have never had some particular thing happen, you can, in your body and in your being, imagine how it might feel, imagine how it must feel. it has to start with your empathy.
you can let that perceived experience touch your heart in a way and then say - this is the action that i want to take. because with the touch of your heart comes a straight arrow forward. it is through your feeling and perception in your sensory body that you let the information light up inside of you. you let that story land in your body and it will guide you forward. and you can only do that if you are inhabiting your body and your own experience.
otherwise, you’re like a tennis ball, getting hit back and forth and back and forth. every racket that hits you is a trauma of the world. all of the traumas and all of those experiences, if they are all you are focusing on, then you see that you are going to be smacked in the face constantly, and you will not have room in yourself for anything other than the experience of being hit. and while it is so important to listen to and to know the experience of other people, the way to do it is not inundate yourself with only stories of pain.
because then you will have nothing to tend to others with.
when you do this you are like a tree many branches, extending your arms in each and every direction, wanting to offer your love and help, but you have forgotten what it feels like to be inside of yourself and where your center is, so your roots will not receive any nourishment and you will not be able to sustain your reaching. you have to balance the reaching with receiving. this is a law of nature.
this is a hard world to be in. there are many stories, many people, having painful experiences. it is very easy to access those stories, so much so that you might think that there is nothing good or beautiful happening in the world.
you may be perceiving and receiving from a state of trauma, hyper vigilance. which says 'I can't relax now, because trauma is happening to others'. and if you are only thinking about all of those traumas that people are experiencing, and you're basing your own wellbeing on whether or not something bad is happening to someone else — that is never going to work out for you. because there is always going to be pain and hurt and wrongdoing in this world. that is truth. i know that it is hard for you to hear. but it is true today.
so what you can do when you get the sense that you are being in a state of hyper vigilance, that you are casting about looking for who is in trauma now and you are not connected to the needs of your own body and heart, you need to catch yourself in that moment. i am going to give you an affirmation. "the way that i help others to heal is not by mirroring and emulating their trauma. it is by using the strength that I have, the ability i have to sleep, rest and eat, to fortify myself and to take loving action."
and then, from there, you use your strength. a way you use the privilege you have is by allowing yourself to rest and to be strong enough to do work when it comes to you. not by being so ungrounded and uprooted by being inundated with the trauma of the world that you don’t have room or space for anything else. i know that this i hard for you to hear, but this is essential. it may even feel counter-intuitive, but you need to rest, you need to receive your nourishment from the earth, from the sky and from other people, and you need to walk forward in the way that you are going to be able to be whole and loving. not just a shred of an exhausted person.
feed yourself. create the structure that you need in your life to thrive. you will see that you will not forget about these others. we know that this is your fear. it is ok to let yourself be nourished.
this dynamic exists. of some people having, and some people having great burdens to bear. it is not just, but it also IS. you cannot change that in one day. in one lifetime. so as you take your meals. as you take your rest, do this in gratitude. and in gratitude for that nourishment, you can say a prayer. 'may the nourishment that i take become the soil that grows the food to feed those who do not have nourishment right now.'
i am not advocating for giving up. there will be times to rest and times to push. but look, you need to sleep! and in that moment before you go to sleep, there is no action to for you to take for another person. yet your action can be to receive the gratitude of this ability to rest that you have, and to send your love out to those who cannot.