The Cradle of Compassion

High Holy Days can feel a little bit like living in a tunnel of sorts. Now that Yom Kippur has passed, I feel like I've come flying out of the chute.  My load is a bit lighter and I've got more breathing room. 

Today I have been thinking about how atonement rests in the cradle of compassion. In order to actually engage in the rigorous practice of teshuvah, which can be exacting and demanding, we need to have a gentle scaffolding around us. There is a delicate balance of comfort and discomfort, a healthy tension.

This morning I listened to a news story about the neurobiology of human touch. When it's safe, given and received freely, the cradle of compassion is a hug, literally or figuratively (or both). Other times it's simply having faith in the possibility of feeling free.