I personally believe that people with ‘ empathic ‘ attributes have a predisposition to a raw spirituality by nature of our so called make up. The main theme in our relationship with the external and internal worlds is primarily those of love and compassion. This is our core, like it or not, this is who we are. Not the media paraded fickle love and compassion, not of the transient liaisons with partners, not of the political rhetoric voiced by diplomats in order to recruit our support and not of the saccharine sweetness of cinematic portrayal.
This love and compassion is a fiery, never say die, heroic force within us. It’s something we cannot deny as it continues to drive us forward, forward into our world. The outside world is frequently a war zone of energies, individuals vying for their place in society, people projecting their beliefs and biases onto others in order to consolidate their perceived position of power. Yet we go on.
Often we seem to stand alone on the battlefield of life, armed only with our individuated integrity and the knowledge in our heart and soul that our path is true. For we have no armour, armour would make us less susceptible to the suffering of others and thus undermine our ability to use our empathic energy to stand our ground and to save those whom we could.
Whatever flag, banner or label we wish to identify with in life, whether we are Buddhist, Christian, Catholic , Muslim or whatsoever, being truly spiritual is having the essential ingredients of genuine love and compassion. For without these we are of little help to one another.
I have spent many years looking after individuals who have suffered at the hands of mental and physical ill health, from the new born to the dying. These people often show in their times of despair our true vulnerability. No matter how they have lived, what they have personally done to ‘get by’, they and we are all seeking a loving and compassionate connection with others. One that is based on implicit acceptance and trust, one in which we can all fall into when needed and that we know will always be there.
” I was young then. A student carer on one of my first placements on a psychogeriatric ward. I didn’t really know her, nor her me. But that really wasn’t in the equation in the slightest possible way. Dementia and cancer had worn away at her in these final months of her time. She was close to relinquishing her already tenacious grip on life. As I held her bony and wizened hand, I could feel how cold it had become as her heart was no longer strong enough to push her blood to her fingers. Her eyes beyond the yellowed cataracts still felt my presence even if she did not ‘ see me’. As she drew her final breath, I believe that I felt a kind of release from her, a final relinquishment of all that she had known. Now willing to embrace an uncertain future rather than holding on to an untenable and painful present. I also imagine that I felt a kind of soulful ‘ thank you’ as she passed away. As if it meant so much for someone to simply be there at her passing, that she wasn’t alone at this time. I have felt honoured and humbled to this day. “