Sitting with Sorrow
What a gift we give when we sit in silent compassion with those in sorrow.
It is ingrained in us humans to want to assist those we see hurting. Especially when it is someone we hold dear, someone we love. I have found myself wanting to fill the space with something that might ease, that might offer some balm and so words, well intentioned, tumble from the mouth.
The words used, meant to assist the one suffering, to put things in perspective, to shine the light on what is good, for in truth something good is always burgeoning if we can relax the grip of sorrow, the words that reach to say ‘this too will pass’ often have the opposite effect.
Yes, it is helpful to put things in perspective and there is always someone suffering “more or less” this is the domain of comparison, but to deny one their full expression of pain is tantamount to saying even here, even in sorrow, you don’t quite measure up to those REALLY suffering. Even in sorrow then, I am unworthy.
We feel their pain and in some way, it becomes ours too and we seek to ease it.
What a great gift we give then when we simply sit in love and compassion, allowing the space for whatever arises to be and in the being to permit dissolution. This is the path that transmutes sorrow into its constituent essence which will permit the light to rise in new and wondrous ways.
We mirror the five divine acts: creation, manifestation, dissolution, concealment and revelation in our own small world. And while we are told, and understand to some degree, that these are happening simultaneously on both the cosmic and relative level, that they are not discrete, not separate, we cannot skip any of the first four in order to arrive more quickly at revelation. No matter how deeply and sincerely we desire it.
Dissolution is the active process that supplies the energy for what is new to arise; for what is concealed to be revealed.
It is in meditation that we dissolve, for a time, our sense of limited self and in rising back to the surface, claiming our individuality once more, we are re-formed. We are always becoming. Being vs Knowing. Being takes up all the space. It moves and expands into every corner, it pervades. Knowing is the recursive response to that being, doubling back to reflect and apply at some future time.
Little by little, we become something new. A more refined version of our whole self. It is the practice of meditation that permits me to hold sorrow in a new way. It also makes me keenly sensitive to the unintentional pain caused when those who love us try to make it better, to move us forward by looking elsewhere. This has its place and will come in time, and its time is aided by permitting the fire to burn. Meditation is the fire that ignites consciousness, burning off the dross allowing sweetness to rise to the surface.
What a gift we give when we sit in silent compassion with those in sorrow. Gift yourself. Meditate.