This past USA presidential Inauguration Day I was out walking on the trail where I usually jog. It was such a beautiful mid-winter’s day, I wanted to enjoy it before arctic weather descended upon us once again.
About a mile down the trail I saw a tall thin man walking slowly ahead of me with his little dog. As I came abreast of them the man turned and greeted me. His eyes were filled with sadness and I could feel his heavy energy.
I said “That’s a cute little dog you have there.”
“I never thought I’d have a dog,” he replied, “but I just lost my wife and . . . .” His voice trailed off and his eyes filled with tears.
I felt overwhelmed with compassion for this sad and lonely man.
“Well,” I said lamely, fumbling around for the right words, “dogs are great company.”
We chatted a few moments and I could see his sadness lifting a bit. I walked on, hoping I’d helped him in some small way.
About a half mile later I came upon another man. His right ear heavily bandaged, he was sitting on a bench staring out across the valley below us to the snow-covered Big Horn Mountains far away to the northeast.
He didn’t turn to greet me as I approached. I could feel a great sadness in him too. I didn’t want to disturb his reverie. So I walked on by.
I mentally sent both men lots of light and love, hoping they would move through their sadness into a brighter day.
How many times in my life, I wondered, had I simply ignored, or not even noticed, the hurting, sad souls around me? I vowed I’d never let that happen again.
We do not believe you should take on the pain of others, but we do believe you should show compassion and caring toward those in pain, as John did.
Compassion is one thing. Sympathy is quite another, a very different vibration. If you’re sympathizing you’re taking on other people’s pain.
You cannot take on other people’s pain and be of any good to them, or to yourselves. Nowhere is it written you have to feel bad because someone else is, no matter how close you are to them or how much you love them.
The best thing you can do to help someone in pain is to be happy.
Then envision them also being happy. They will eventually move through and beyond their pain or sadness. You have the power to help them speed up that process. But not by feeling their pain or by sympathizing with them. That only amplifies the negative feelings and energies.
Be happy. See them happy. That is absolutely the best thing you can do to help anyone. Your happiness is your greatest gift to humanity.