December 7, 2011

The Thin Skin of Perception

I share from a reading that touched me recently, in this time of deepening darkness and season of God's light. As Hanukah and Christmas approach. 

We know that we are connected to all other life forms on the planet, yet we are distinct beings who can disregard the suffering of the torture victim, the slaughtered animal, or the starving child.

[While] other people's suffering is painful to us; we have skins that separate us from their pain.    The thickness of our skins can be good sometimes, for it lets us be whole and safe in a world where many of us are not. But if our skin is too thick, we become callous. We shut out reality and pretend--successfully sometimes--that everyone is as well off as we are.

Given these complications, it is difficult to respond to the suffering of others in a balanced way. We can lighten another's suffering. We can begin just by listening. 

We can also find ways to impact the welfare of others. We have choices in our "feelingness."

Let me be a feeling person, one who can feel compassion. 

The Serenity Prayer can show how:   With serenity, with courage and with wisdom.

December 4th, The Promise of a New Day

1 comment:

  1. I like being a feeling person. It is much better than not feeling at all. I have heard that many alcoholics are "over feelers". Perhaps those of us affected by alcoholism are also.


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