I used to run away from pain. Now I sink into it. Deeper and deeper and deeper. Breathing and uncomfortable in meditation. Like I’m sinking to the bottom of the ocean. And once I sink deep enough, I recognize an ocean floor of universal pain. And the tension in my body opens into compassion.
If I skip quickly from pain to compassion. It’s bypassing. It’s lip service. That’s when I want recognition for my compassionate selflessness. When I have dug down deep into my pain, no recognition is necessary because practicing compassion is utterly selfish. It is survival. It is the only sane way to respond to a dying world.