Dip your Apples into the Honey of Compassion

Elul Day 24

I am reading an extraordinary book by Brene' Brown called The Gifts of Imperfection, and it's another one of those gems where I could underline nearly every sentence with an emphatic exclamation point in the margin. 

Last night she was citing the wisdom of Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron:

"Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It's a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity." (p. 16)

I am reflecting on what it feels like to read this book and truly absorb these words in the context of Elul, this season of knowing our own darkness and tasting the sweetness of renewal. When I say truly absorb, I mean a fierce willingness to do my own inner work in a manner that allows me to digest and integrate such an exacting definition of compassion. 

Next week I will bring some apples and honey to share with my faculty colleagues, who are teaching me new theological perspectives on these universal themes. Darkness, compassion, shared humanity, presence. 

May it be Your will, Adonai, our All that Is, and the God of Ones who came before us, that You renew for us a good and sweet year.

Y'hee ratzon mil'fanekha, Adonai Elohaynu v'Elohey avoteynu v’imoteynu sh'tichadeish aleinu shanah tovah um'tukah.

Sweetness is just around the corner. Are you ready to receive it?