We need a powerful response to what’s happening in the USA. I feel anger, outrage, dread. I honor those feelings, and I know that truly powerful responses – responses that heal and re-align our nation - must be based in love. I feel the tug between my fearful outrage and my commitment to peace and love. I search for a path forward.
A recent post by Dr. Kristin Neff, author of Self-Compassion, points to a way – fierce compassion. “Compassion is aimed at the alleviation of suffering – that of others or ourselves – and can be ferocious as well as tender.” “We need love in our hearts so we don’t perpetuate a cycle of anger and hate, but we need fierceness so that we don’t let things continue on their current harmful path.”
She describes fierce compassion as a balance of Yin and Yang energies. Yin is more inward and receptive. It offers comfort and nurture to self and others. Yang focuses outward with a clarity and resolve that helps us take constructive action in the world.
Fierce compassion invites us to be contemplative activists, peaceful warriors – respectful, empathic and thoughtful, steadfast, courageous and outspoken. Fierce compassion calls us to wholeness and wholeheartedness.