Compassion: Pain Relief for Emotional Pains
When you are in any sort of physical pain, do you not reach for some sort of pain killer? Most folks do. So what kind of pain killer do folks reach out for who are in various stages of emotional pain?
Intuition is always right and directs towards that which is more noble, more virtuous, more in line with integrity and honesty and never acts like a cosmic cop ready to give a ticket when speeding past someone who needs help from you personally. That is not the function of intuition. Intuition is simply a God installed guidepost to help man live within the relational community of love as a social being.
Fear – Is the World’s Greatest Compassion Killer
When it looks like there could be a danger to our personal being, we tend to back off on engaging in compassion on the wicked in need. Yes, it is true that for the most part, we all seem to be able to experience a stirring of compassion for those who are vulnerable, weak and small sick children and cute looking baby animals. They are no threat to us.
But what of the big bad ones who stir up different feelings within us? Are we not to also have compassion on their lost souls?
The more images we see of Muslim migrants demanding to be given what they need in addition to what they want – like sharia law for all, the more we begin to despise their immigration to our countries. I am very guilty of loving myself first and seeking the comfort of my own life before I would ever want to let my government help those who have suffered loss by way of war and economic upheaval in their country.
Do you see where my thought train is leading here?
It is natural to have a compassionate response triggered within us and be protective of others who are weak, small and cuddly – including those cute little animals, but not so natural when it comes to those who want to kill us for not being faithful Islam adherents. We recoil from those in fear.
It is our perception of others which is too often inaccurate and not based in the fullness of truth. When we perceive a potential threat to our way of life and the comforts we have, we shy away from triggered compassion responses.
Yet we are clearly told in the Scriptures, to deny our habituated selves and when that ‘denying of one’s self’ is practiced, we will be able to help others even to the point of moving into a potentially dangerous position where we are willing to lay down our life for the sake of another.
Do you see yourself as a physician or medical practitioner who is coming to bring healing to the sick, or do you see yourself as being someone inferior who might get infected by the sickness of the other person? The way you answer this question might determine if you can feel compassion for the skid-row addict, the sexual exploiters, the greedy purveyors of a false “Christian” doctrine etc.
God restores all manner of individuals and will also restore in us who desire to have His love for others triggered in us by once again growing our compassion.
I do not think that we always get it right the way God has wanted it to be from the beginning. He wanted us to be His regents ruling on planet Earth by imaging His essence and Character of love.
It is true that we have all, to some degree, lost the sensitivity to triggered compassion. We have become desensitized by our busy life which focuses on loving ourselves first. But let me encourage you to have God restore the proper compassion triggers within you and respond to the need of others as Jesus was able to experience the will of His Father being done in His life.
How to nurture and grow your compassion sensitivity
Stop – Take Time and Pray First
I would always begin by asking God to give us what He wants to give us for living out His love through us. Remember, the Christian life is about God’s will not my will. Do you know someone who is hurting – other than yourself? Engage in a prayer asking for the restoration of true godly compassion sensitivity within you personally. Then pray for the restoration of those you know who are hurting souls. Pray for the renewal of the other person’s courage so they may face their difficult days. Pray for the restoration of broken relationships within your own family and others as well. Then engage your prayers to also include strangers, enemies and those who are inhumanely subjected to abuse and cruelty among the sentient world – including animals which also groan for the full restoration of creation. Enter into this special time of humbling yourself before God and ask for that full measure of a complete restoration of love’s compassion triggers to be re-sensitized.
Look – Observe Others
Are you a hater of disgusting behavior? Are you a hater of those who are not aligned in the way you think and believe? If you are, you will most likely not be able to observe what it is that they really need. Remember, it is not always about physical needs. Many times it is about the emotional hurts of not being accepted, loved, respected and more. If this is what your problem is then it is a definite signal that you, because of your own personal experiences of neglect or abuse, have also neglected to obey the UNIVERSAL GOLDEN RULE for social living, If you are experiencing these type of emotionally developed pains of neglect, fear, anxiousness, hatred or abuse, then you will only experience relief through genuine forgiveness and by rekindling your compassion triggers towards others for that is the universal law of love.- “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Observe others and seek to identify from their behavior as to what it could be that they may be lacking. I urge you, however, to never think that they may be lacking self-esteem or self-confidence because that is all a bunch of humanistic psychological bunk.
When we pray for help in having our compassion triggers re-vitalized and re-sensitized we will begin to recognize the many person-to-person God encounters we will be given. God will reveal to all of us exactly what the true nature of another person’s needs are. Ask God “Lord, what is it that You would have me do and say to that person?” and as you engage in that present tense activity of faithing in God, you will come to know that at times it is best to not even say a thing but to just pitch in and help and listen.
We lie “…when we pretend like we really, really, really love the other person when in fact we don’t. We do not love people when we dismiss their story (including their hopes, values, beliefs and convictions). We do not love people when we do not empathically listen to them, as opposed to spending that time formulating a counter-argument. We do not love others when we reduce them to labels, caricatures, or opponents. If we love, then we will find them shockingly beautiful and fascinating creations. We will find their stories riveting. We will radiate affection. Humans know deep down when they are or are not truly loved.” (Tony Kriz is a writer and church leader from Portland, Oregon, and Author in Residence at Warner Pacific College.)
Go – Do The Work of Listening and Serving Others in Need
Every moment is filled with the opportunity to experience a satisfying of your own needs by simply going and meeting the needs of others. You already love yourself so you need not worry about learning to love yourself first before you help others. That kind of thinking is also based on humanistic psychology bunk.
Is it not time that we all rediscover our triggers which lead to compassion?
The activity of active present tense faithing is to live in that presence of God and hearing from Him what it is that requires a denying of my self’s comfort level and stepping out and just being the person of listening love. Remember, it is not we who live out our life in the flesh, bones and blood but it is the very Spirit of Christ in us. We are to live by His Spirit in our re-birthed human spirit who governs our “self” and lives out His life in us, as us and through us.. If we live by self-effort we are the ones who frustrate the grace of God.
“It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20)
If we do not get this, then we will be engaging in self-effort. But I need to state here that this self-effort of engaging in compassionate endeavors is most definitely going to help even unbelievers as well. All human beings will relieve emotional pain as they engage in that activity which seeks to benefit others in their need. Why is that the case? Because we do not need to be a Christian in order to benefit from obeying the law of love. In order to receive emotional pain relief by engaging in compassion, we build a society who cares for our neighbour for we are all social creatures who need others. But we do need to become spiritually re-birthed new creations in order to have the fullness of joy and peace reign in us and have life everlasting.
A Painkiller with Amazing Results
When we engage in the activity of compassion – it is impossible to love without action, our involvement in the lives of others will temporarily help us forget our own difficulties, hurts and problems.
As we experience our human spiritual life functioning capacity at work in us by way of its amazing forefending system, we come to experience our own emotional thirst and hunger pains which result from NOT engaging in meeting our own needs. Is it not amazing that when we want our own emotional needs met that we must learn to actively live by the embedded law of love which clearly requires us to do unto others first that what we want others to do unto us? Our own emotional pains and hurts are actually reduced as we help others deal with their emotional pains. When you are experiencing your own emotional turmoil I would urge you to meet your own need by turning on your compassionate side. You will definitely notice an immediate relief of your own emotional pains. Compassion really does work wonders for others first and ultimately in yourself.
Why would a person go to a local shrink or counselor and rely on a physical painkiller when the solution is a spiritual one. We are so indoctrinated, even within our churches, that all we can think about when we suffer emotional pain is that we must be haveing a mental illness disorder and we run to the pill bottle.
Compassion actually does kill emotional pain. It kills pain even better than pills, alcohol and smoking pot – all of these are very short term and temporary in their effect on you. There is scientific research which clearly endorses the therapeutic power of compassion. You may want to do some more research yourself on this research – according to a study which was published in the “Journal of Experimental Social Psychology”, those individuals who demonstrated high levels of compassion for others were more receptive to social support themselves. This, therefore, enabled the compassionate ones to better handle acute mental and emotional psychological stresses.
Although the knowledge of the law of love is an inherent aspect of all human beings, in most people, the expression of compassionate behavior remains a dormant and unlearned virtue.
It is an astounding reality that when we engage in fulfilling this inherent law of love which we all know about and too often subdue, we actually get to satisfy our own cravings and desires for love, respect, acceptance, loyalty, faithfulness, kindness, forgiveness and so much more of all that which is intangible but real and spiritual. But when we are only thinking about ourselves we become the users of other for satisfying our need at their expense instead of the other way around.
When we deny ourselves and expend ourselves in the cause of meeting other’s needs we will experience a satisfying reciprocity fulfillment, within us. Help alleviate the pain of others first and you will reap the benefit within your own life as well.