Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Compassion, The Ultimate Act Of Love

I have been intending to write this article for awhile and because of where I was emotionally I did not think that I could do it justice. I did not want any of my emotional upset to effect the story that I want to tell.

This is a story of compassion and love demonstrated by a simple act of kindness and caring by a husband for his wife.

The Three Monks are doing a Spread the Love Now! Group Writing Project. For the rules for submitting an article go to one of their websites.

Well, just a few days ago, I did a reading from The Healing Runes written by Ralph H. Blum and Susat Loughan. Of the three Runes that I drew, the second one was Compassion. The other two were Courage and Acceptance.

The following quote from the book may sound familiar to my regular readers because I have used it before. It is appropriate to the sharing of my story. On page 116, the book states, "It has been said that when we have compassion for one another, we shall be of one mind. For in living a compassionate life, we are practicing the Presence of God in a simple and universal way. Drawing this Rune reminds us to take time to show compassion for those we meet on our healing journey." The book goes on to say, ". . . remember to have compassion for yourself." This Rune further reminds us to look at the world through the eyes of compassion.

I drew the Rune for Compassion quite a bit while I was in India and since I have been back home. One of the best examples of compassion that I have ever seen was when I was at the ashram of Sathya Sai Baba in Puttiparthi, India.

My friend Ki does foot reflexology. She was staying near the ashram when my friend Sherryl and I arrived. Ki invited Sherryl and I to go with her to meet a couple from Austria. Ki thought that maybe Sherryl could do some healing work on the wife with her Reiki and Cranio-sacral adjustments that Sherryl is trained to do as well as being a massage therapist. I was too sick to accompany them for the first two visits.

On the third visit, I went with Ki and Sherryl to visit Hans and Marguerite. Marguerite had been paralyzed and not able to move anything except her head for over two months when we met her. She had been diagnosed with Gillian Barre Syndrome. Sherryl has known three other people who had contracted the disease back in the United States so she was able to give Hans and Marguerite some encouraging information about the disease. Two of the three people had complete recoveries from the disease. The third person was Sherryl's elderly uncle who only recovered partially. Because of his advanced age, he still walks with the aid of canes. Sherryl was able to tell Marguerite that since she was in her thirties and did not need mechanical help with breathing that she would probably have a full recovery. When Sherryl was massaging Marguerite's leg muscles, Marguerite felt pain from the muscles cramping. Sherryl was able to tell her that it was good news. Her muscles were beginning to get the feeling back in them so recovery was already beginning.

The most compassionate moment that I was blessed to be able to see was between Marguerite and her husband Hans who was her major caregiver during the entire two months that she had been completely helpless. Hans worked very hard to make sure that Marguerite was as comfortable as he could make her during this whole time. Sherryl's words gave Hans encouragement also. Hans was able to find people who could come in and do reflexology and massage to help keep Marguerite's muscles from atrophying.

As Ki was doing reflexology on Hans' feet and Sherryl was doing a massage on Marguerite's legs, I sat at their dining room table watching and holding the safe space for the healing work of the other two and sending Reiki energy to both Hans and Marguerite.

As tired as Hans was, he was always very gentle and loving towards Marguerite. She would ask a question or make a comment and he would patiently answer her. At one point, Marguerite gave a little cry of pain and then asked Hans a question. Hans gently and lovingly reached out and patted Marguerite's hand as he softly talked to her answering her question and reassuring her.

This simple act of patting Marguerite's hand was the most loving act of compassion that I have ever experienced. This simple act spoke volumes. I felt so blessed to be a part of the love and healing that took place in that small room.

That was the most beautiful experience that I had during my trip to India. I think that I have hesitated to share this experience because it was so personal and I was afraid that I would not do it justice in describing it. Three Monks, thanks for giving me a reason to make the attempt.
What better time than the Christmas season to spread some love.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this beautiful post Patricia. As always, you don't disappoint! ;)

Patricia Singleton said...

Albert, thanks, coming from you that means a lot.

Anonymous said...

Your thoughts are thought-provoking and life transforming. Thanks for sharing such intimate parts of yourself. Oening oneself up to vulnerability is one of the most meaningful and life-changing things we can do. You remind people its useful to step back from what they think they already know, to realize that the truth is always accessible inside.

Patricia Singleton said...

Liara, what a beautiful name. You humble me with your words. Thank you for your comment.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful story Patricia...

The human touch. Hmmmmmmm

Patricia Singleton said...

Thanks, Deb. Yes, the human touch can heal many things if we allow it to.

Kris Vockler said...

Patricia, wonderful story and so perfect for a project on compassion. What's icing on the cake, you witnessed it. Thank you so much for sharing.


Patricia Singleton said...

Kris, witnessing this act of compassion was one of the highlights of being at the ashram this trip. Compassion is one of the lessons that I have been working with for awhile now. I have been blessed with the wonderful examples that have come my way. Have a glorious day and 2008.

Anonymous said...

Your posts are interesting and thought provoking. I can't wait to read more.

Patricia Singleton said...

January, I am glad that you like them.

r a w said...

Hi Patricia,
Thanks for sharing this. It teaches us that it is the small things that make a big collective difference.

A butterfly flapping its wings on one end of the globe can cause a tornado at the other.

Brilliant stuff & keep writing.

Patricia Singleton said...

Raw, writing is my best method of healing so I will definitely continue writing. Thanks for your comment.

LAwaters said...

Hi Patricia,

Your writings are always so honest and real. This story is lovely. Thank you for sharing it!

I've received healing from your other writings here as well. That's the beauty of being willing to write openly of our struggles and what we receive from them. Reminds me of the flow of healing river waters! Refreshes us all and carries us onward...


Patricia Singleton said...

LAwaters, what a great way to start my day by reading your comment. Thank you. Have a glorious 2008.

Wade M | The Middle Way said...

Hi Patricia,

Thanks for such a personal and beautiful story. I agree with Waters, that was very refreshing and nurishing to read.


Patricia Singleton said...

Wade, thanks for your words of praise. It was a wonderful sight for me to experience. I am glad that I had the words to share this experience with others.