Welcome to another chapter of Grateful Heart Monday where I begin my week with a piece of gratitude to start things off on a positive note, which for today is for all those who have shown me compassion and unconditional love through all this pain and suffering I’ve been going through.
Over the past bunch of years, while I’ve seen many drift out of my life as my pain and suffering has gone on for way longer than I ever thought it would, some have remained by my side and offered me their own unique forms of compassion and unconditional love on a regular basis, which has truly helped me to keep going.
I have such an immense amount of gratitude for each of them, especially because none of them ever resort to offering me suggestions on what they think I should do. Offering me advice isn’t the compassion and unconditional love I’m speaking of. Rather, it’s more about the many acts of holding space that these individuals have done for me.
To explain, let me reference the story of Job in the Bible. There, when Job’s three closest friends show up and saw how great his suffering was, they tore their clothes and spend the next seven days in silence, mourning and praying by his side. Putting aside the tearing of their clothes, the act of sitting there in silence and simply mourning and praying is one example of holding space. It’s about just being present and allowing the person who’s suffering, to feel supported and not judged. Sadly though, as Job’s affliction wore on, his three friends moved away from holding space and instead began to resort to criticizing him, giving him advice, and telling him what they thought the problem was, which only made Job’s suffering greater.
I’ve experienced many of those types of people throughout the years that I’ve endured this pain and suffering and none of it has ever helped. But, it’s those who have done the exact opposite, who haven’t offered me anything except small tokens of compassion and unconditional love like just listening to my grief and allowing me to cry profusely, that I’m ultimately grateful for.
I’ve come to see that many of those who do offer those small tokens of compassion and unconditional love and know how to hold space are usually individuals who have gone through long periods of suffering themselves. Yet, it’s those who haven’t suffered much in life and haven’t gone through long periods of pain either, that tend to offer me unsolicited advice and can’t be bothered with me in the long run.
That’s why today I’m dedicating this Grateful Heart Monday entry to all those who have prayed for me, sent me encouraging poems and uplifting quotes, given me cards and small gifts, embraced me tightly, held my hand, given me a reassuring touch, taken me out for a meal or coffee and just listened to me talk about my pain, or found other unique ways to uplift me even through all my despair. As it’s through all those acts of compassion and unconditional love where you have held space for me and that alone has brought me plenty of gratitude and enough to keep going for another day…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson