The Compassion Chemical

I have been thinking about compassion. I find there’s no room for it in the stories we embrace to guide our lives. It is this that makes me feel I’m overflowing out of my body, spaces & life.

What I have in me is labelled & pre-valued for tangible effects. Skills, decisions, actions. Feelings are costed rudimentarily for how easily they are packaged into saleable content or esteemed art.

Compassion is a complex feeling. Something further in the chemical process than joy or pain, two of the elemental blocks of our emotional periodic table.

Compassion is giving room for the world to be in you. Compassion is letting your inner self be more than a closed dungeon. A universe, even a galaxy.

I’ve felt shamed for compassion. It’s true I’ve mistaken compassion for love or friendship or interest. But that’s erroneous labelling; it’s not a garbage element. When you find it in your self, you don’t throw it out.

I think compassion is the only real choice. To feel compassion & shut it down is to give yourself a wound that will poison you for the rest of your life; later your relationships too. Because that’s what happens when guilt takes root in your heart. Guilt only grows where once there was compassion & fear was chosen over it.

I’m not saying we should shame ourselves or others into expressing compassion. Maybe some people don’t feel it as much. Shame isn’t compassionate. Start there.

And it is a potent chemical that could ride you out to the stars. But it has a price & that is to leave behind the smaller you that you once were. That includes people who need you to be that small you & the world that liked it better when you were tight & snug, not bursting with possibility. That is a choice, yes. I say choose you. Compassion is self-care because it is loving & nothing loving can be limited or aggressive.

Compassion is water, a substance that can drown you but only if you fight it. Let it surround you without resistance & it will carry you because that’s what we call floating.

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