Self Healing: The Energy of Compassion

compassion is a verb | Dianna Bonny Photography

I have long been trying to understand my own propensity to succumb to the little voice that calls from the dark trying to convince me I am not enough. But even more puzzling is the actual existence of the part of myself that seems devoted to self-destruction. Our dark side is an underground entity with confusing motives – isn’t life hard enough without trying to sink our own boat?

Steven Pressfield calls it Resistance. Others call it our darkness. The other day, Thích Nhất Hạnh referred to it as the “container of our suffering.”

When he said this I had a huge AHA moment of understanding. Thinking of my self-saboteur as the container of my suffering resonated with me in a big way.

I think it’s true that, for many of us, our lives are born out of our pain. Or maybe more accurately, of running away from our pain. At least it has been this way for me. My always busy, always moving exterior kept me a nice, safe distance from being able to explore my pain.

And, I don’t know about you, but I grew up in a time when painful experiences (aka suffering) were treated with a “For god’s sake, get over it” attitude. Things happened and you kept moving without a glance backward or inward.

This includes any and all of those experiences that caused us to feel small, demoralized, sad or as though our heart just got shoved through a wood chopper. To see each of those moments, when I was most wounded and vulnerable, as having accumulated in the depths and awaiting resolution gives me a new perspective on possibilities for the future.

When we consciously choose to hold our own suffering with compassion and firmly place both feet in the river of our entire experience, we acknowledge ourselves at the most intimate level.

And things begin to change.

My understanding from the teachings of Thích Nhất Hạnh is that the first step in healing is developing the ability to handle our suffering. We are so afraid we will be overwhelmed by it that we run away, live and relive the past, without resolution, and create further suffering. Since most of us have never been taught how to simply be with our pain, and in turn heal ourselves, the cycle goes on and on and on.

The process of learning to be with my own suffering was very difficult in the beginning. It seemed, in a way, decadent and selfish to turn a kind eye upon my wounds and very counter to the culture I was raised in. In the beginning, it had me curled up in a ball and drowning in tears. Eventually, it allowed every wounded molecule in me rise up from the darkest corners and be counted, forging a new way of experiencing myself.

The darkness became lighter.

The next step is infusing these experiences, and the emotions that come up surrounding them, with the energy of compassion. I think of holding them the way I did my newborn children with unconditional acceptance. They are fragile entities that want and need our love.

I think of it as a process similar to the creation of compost. The combination of waste, organic matter and pure energy is an equation that contains the potential to transform the entire lot into nutrient-dense material that can be repurposed.

Like the elements of compost, our suffering also contains the seeds of pure potentiality. By infusing it with compassion, and conscious intention focused on healing, the possibility of transformation is born.

At least this has been my experience.

What about you: do you think your darkness is the “container of your suffering?” Do you allow your pain into your awareness where it can be bathed in the energy of compassion?

I would love to hear your experience.

Love. Breathe. Heal.


Who is Dianna Bonny?

Hi, my name is Dianna Bonny. It’s my mission to candidly share my journey with you. For me, it’s all about the healing: to create a radiant healing energy for others who have befallen a similar fate. Together, we can forge beautiful lives of belonging and connection. Thanks for joining me today! I look forward to hearing from you.

  3 comments for “Self Healing: The Energy of Compassion

  1. October 28, 2013 at 10:51 am

    I love the way you write Dianna – it always speaks to my heart. I have been on this journey myself and have learned that the old adage of keep moving, keep busy had me avoiding my pain for so long. It is only when I stopped running and allowed myself to be with my pain that I could begin the process of moving through it and past it. I love the way you described that “My always busy, always moving exterior kept me a nice, safe distance from being able to explore my pain.”

    It is one of those beautiful experiences that one cannot appreciate until its been experienced, but giving yourself permission to just feel the pain is the most freeing step you can take. It may feel lousy for a while, but there is the most exquisite love awaiting us if we just have that compassion with ourselves. It takes courage. I’m grateful for your courage…it gives me strength – thank you.

    • Dianna Bonny
      October 28, 2013 at 12:12 pm

      I always smile when I see a comment from you Karen. It is so reassuring to know that my writing is being received and you always respond with such lovely insight. I wish I had understood long ago how freeing it is to just experience the pain as you say, but I suppose that is the journey. Your presence here gives me the inspiration to keep writing.. xo

      • October 30, 2013 at 4:08 pm

        Yay! That makes me so happy to know I am giving you encouragement too – because I sincerely love your blog! xo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *