Updated: Sep 18
“Our human compassion binds us the one to the other—not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future.” Nelson Mandela
COVID-19 has remained the center of attention in every conversation I've had over the last several weeks. This is understandable as we have not seen a worldwide reaction of this magnitude since WWII. Suddenly the attention of the whole world in on the same thing at the same time. This brings with it challenges and opportunities. Besides the obvious challenge of slowing down the spread of the virus, the greater challenge in my mind is dealing with the toxic effects of unprecedented levels of fear. Irrational fear leads to irrational behavior and we definitely don’t want to grow that! And this is where the opportunities begin to present themselves. I consider us to be highly blessed that the catalyst for gaining the attention of the world is not a war, a cataclysmic act of nature, or a nuclear situation. The nature of this catalyst has for the most part evoked a peaceful, cooperative reaction from humanity. This gives us a chance to move into a state of mind I call high compassion.
High Compassion and Low Compassion
High compassion is an act of doing no harm. It flows from the soul and leads us into forgiveness, inspiration, and intuitive knowing of a higher good. It connects us with our ability to see the larger wholeness of life and the broader truth of who we are as conscious living beings. This larger viewpoint gives us access to the hidden keys within our higher reasoning mind that liberate us from the thoughts and beliefs that imprison us in experiential cycles of pain and suffering.
Low compassion is a psychological identification with the thoughts, feelings, or attitudes of another person’s ego experience. An identity that keeps both parties invested in the delusions that have arisen out of our belief in separation from the Wholeness that Is our Source.
High compassion flows from the higher Self’s knowledge that the self-concept known as the ego is not the Self. The ego is only an idea of a self; an idea that is not based on the truth of our perfect divinity. The higher mind understands that human experiences are the avenue through which the ego-identified consciousness learns about the quality of its thinking. The higher mind never confuses these human lessons with the truth of our innate, divine, immortal beingness. Therefore, this level of consciousness within us is a guide we can trust for it will always lead us out of our confusion, pain, and suffering.
Let’s work with some examples we can understand.
Many years ago, I had a good friend who told me she had been raped by a man who broke into her house and held her at knifepoint. I was filled with horror and fear, and I felt so badly for her. But she said something I have never forgotten: “I refuse to see myself as a victim because then I really would be hurt. I am okay. I’ve always been okay.” By acknowledging her inherent worth and the fact that she cannot be damaged by the events of her life, she was able to refrain from identifying herself as a victim. Thus, she was able to free herself from the experience and move on with her life. Her acknowledgement moved me out of low compassion (i.e., seeing her as victim who must be somehow be permanently scarred by her experience) and into high compassion (i.e., recognizing the pain of the situation she went through but knowing her to be inherently okay).
Typically, when we feel empathy for another, we tend to energetically match the emotion. We need to be careful with this because it can quickly become harmful to both parties. First, it adds more negative energy to the other person’s experience. Second, it brings our own mental, emotional, and physical state down to a low vibration, which becomes toxic to our own well-being. This does not serve the highest good for either party. With high compassion, we can understand another person’s feelings because we, too, have felt those things. From our own experience we know how difficult it can be to navigate through them and arrive at forgiveness and peace. However, it is important that we not invest in disempowering ideas about the person’s experience. We need to hold steady in our minds the knowledge that they have within them the ability to heal, to forgive, and to find peace. A peace that is restored by moving our identity out of our stories allowing our true identity to shine forth.
Faith Changes Reality
I recall a story of a young man who was badly burned in a military maneuver in Iraq. Most of his body was badly disfigured, especially his face. Before the accident, he had been the typical, good-looking, charismatic, popular football player in high school. After the accident, he believed his life was over. He slipped into a deep depression, resisted physical therapy, and wanted to die. His mother, however, refused to give in to his self-pity and his belief that he was a monster. She held steady in the light and told him repeatedly how valuable and beautiful he was, that his soul is what made him who he was, and that most people would be able to see this, too. With time, this young man eventually responded to his mother’s faith. As his mind began to heal, his body was freed to heal too. His mother remembered the truth for him until he could do it for himself. He then went on to play a significant role in a daytime soap opera and later won Dancing with the Stars, capturing the heart of the nation with the light and love that radiated out of him. His mother’s high compassion saved his life.
Oneness - The Individual Affects the Whole
Why is this important? Let’s work with metaphor. Imagine there is a cancer cell in the body. Next to that cancer cell is a healthy cell. The cancer cell has formed a negative pattern that is out of sync with the larger whole and is now working at odds with it. It is not listening to the wisdom of the life force that flows through it. The healthy cell feels tremendous empathy for the cancer cell and literally “feels his brother’s pain.” As a result, it begins to experience that same negative pattern within itself. Now it’s also no longer listening to wisdom of its life Source. Thus, the negative pattern grows in strength, intensity, and impact. This makes it harder for the other surrounding cells to hold their healthy pattern. A third cell recognizes what’s happening and chooses not to feel the pain as its own. Instead, while it knows how challenged the other two cells are at the moment, it focuses its attention on the larger truth within those two distressed cells; they still have within them the correcting life consciousness that is the Source of all life. This focus allows it to continue to extend a healthy pattern, which makes it easier for the other two to return to wellness.
High Compassion and COVID-19
How can we apply this to the current situation in the world prompted by the introduction of the COVID-19 virus into the collective consciousness? Quite simply, when we choose high compassion we can understand how challenged people are feeling because of their fear of sickness and death. We can be respectful and kind. We can offer aid and support in ways that make sense for us. But we can also remain certain that regardless of what happens to anyone in this story, we all remain okay. We remain as God created us – divine, immortal beings. Nothing can change that. Even when we forget, God remembers for us until we can do it for ourselves.
In order to maintain high compassion, it’s important to look the fear of death right in the eye. Some people will transition out of their body through the medium of the virus. They will be done with their bodily costume and will cast it off. But they will remain as they are now – divine beings. The vast majority of people will not transition at this time. When we fearlessly accept that we will all transition out of the body at some point, remembering always that we are eternal beings, we can return our minds to peace. Peace is the condition of love. In this state of mind, we are able to make intelligent choices that support the highest good of all.
High compassion changes our experience of life for the better, which in turn contributes to the healing of the larger whole. Let us be the faithful guardians of the truth and help one another grow peace, joy, and brotherly love in the world.