GODDESS OF COMPASSION
It is said that when Kuan Yin was about to cross the threshold to heaven, she heard the anguished cries of the world below and she turned to go tend to them. She said her place was with the suffering....and thus became the goddess of compassion.
Kuan Yin is the manifestation of the Divine Mother. In Japan she is called Kannon and in China followers call her Guanyin. Tibetans know her as Tara. Kuan Yin is a Bodhisattva, one born of wisdom and destined to become Buddha. Bodhisattvas are messianic figures, spiritual heroes/heroines, willing to sacrifice themselves for others life after life while expanding the wisdom that comes with understanding what it takes to effectively help others in pain and suffering.
For those who struggle under the weight and error of holding on to the pain that an unforgiving heart brings into our lives, she shows us, through the flames of forgiveness, how to let go.
I know of no one who has never harbored a grudge against another. We all have scars left by those who taunted, tormented, and even assaulted us in the past. Most of us will carry these scars from childhood and the older we get the deeper some scars can run. It's a common thread during sessions on therapists' couches throughout the world. We were bullied, and not always by other kids. We were lied to and usually by adults who knew they were lying to us. We were promised things that never came to be. We were cheated out of hard earned wins on fields and in classrooms. We were betrayed by those we most trusted and loved. In truth, the worst wounds from betrayal on any level come from those we loved and trusted the most; parent, friend, lover, child.
It takes a heart on a journey of discovery to even want to forgive. Because to forgive, you first must know, or at the very least fear, the damage that will be done to your mind and body if you do not. That wound, left unforgiven will never heal. It will never let you move on. It will take more and more of your creative gits to tend to it. You see, the wounds of unforgiveness don't just exist to remind you of some hurt or betrayal. They are there to be time consuming parasites that will eventually consume you. There is one sure-fire way to extinguish an ever-growing wound of unforgiveness; follow it back to its origin and not your origin but the origin of the one who hurt you, betrayed you, lied to you, and damaged you for anything better than tending to it day after day.
Most of the forgiveness we enter into comes as we grow up and through some reckoning we come to realize how it came to be that they were a victim quite possibly long before you were ever born. Funny how we hold tight those grievances against our parents for not letting us have the freedom to stay out until 3:00 am until we have our own teenagers nipping at us for being such tyrants with a time piece. Those kind of wounds of unforgiveness will work themselves out given enough time.
But those wounds from serious abuses and betrayals that leave a psyche unable to barely process what goes into being responsible for another's life without causing similar pain is much more detrimental to the mental, emotional, and physical health needed for quality of life. I am in no position to dictate the steps that go into this kind of repair but I do know it involves deconstructing a life that was also betrayed, brutalized, and damaged by someone who was also raised in the reality of being mistreated. It requires opening yourself to the truth that we repeat what we know and until we know better we can not hope to do better.
And nowhere in forgiveness is there an expectation of forgetfulness. We do not magically forget ever being violated. We retain all those memories while gaining the knowledge that we now have the power to let it go. How hard it must have been to be one of the millions of fathers desperate to feed their hungry children in 1934. To know they looked to you to provide the food and shelter so many other fathers were failing to do for their children. To wake up every morning wondering if this would be the day you learned you, too had no job to go to. Then the inevitability of realizing you would be in that long line of people waiting for something to eat. And perhaps your coping skills were stretched beyond your capacity to cope and you simply left. Those children now only had their mother to provide for them and soon they would know how things could go so quickly from bad to worse as that mother worked and worried herself into an early grave, even as the State gathered each child for deposit into what ever orphanage could handle the job of raising too many abandoned children on an already over burdened charity program for children forsaken by parents who either left them or died trying. This scenario repeated itself more than we can imagine today.
This is the kind deconstruction that needs to take place for those life altering experiences that promise to leave us permanently scarred and damaged unless we take the first step. I see now how my parents were raised to communicate, or not communicate their love and fears that came with raising three willful daughters even as they embarked on this commitment as children themselves. Things were said and done raising those girls to adulthood that decades later would present an opportunity for the classic do-over when they lost their youngest daughter in a fatal car accident that also took an eight year old grand daughter. A four year old grand daughter survived to be whisked away without any second thoughts about what it would be like to raise another child even as they were preparing for full-time retirement. My mother, raised by an alcoholic father during the Depression and my dad raised by a mother with eleven other children after his dad died unexpectedly during the same Depression, gathered up a four year old traumatized by the deaths of both Mother and sister without second guessing for a second what kind of parents they would be in their sixties.
This second-chance child was not raised like their biological children. And the other two now adult children took note of that feature. Fast forward thirty years and that surviving child now has her own family. She is devoted to her grandparents, who will tell you they do not think of her as a grand daughter but as the fourth child. Mistakes were still made but very few were repeated from the first batch. They had learned to "pick their battles". They had learned it was more important to be happy than it was to be right. My dad was ever present because he didn't work 50 hours a week any more. They took frequent family vacations and she was entitled to piano lessons they couldn't afford raising their own children. Does the grand daughter struggle with forgiveness? You bet. But she was raised hearing the same stories from a variety of perspectives; she'll be fine.
If you still struggle with that hard-to-reconcile injury, Kuan Yin is a breath away to help you look past the fires of anger and bitterness into empathy and healing. She wants to introduce you to ground zero of the damage you sustained; all the way back to when that tormentor, that betrayer, that predator was the innocent one being mistreated or damaged. We all have an origin. We all came into the world needing protection and love. We all, at some point learned not everyone gets what they want or need. God grant us, everyone, time to find in our hearts a willingness to want to know more. From there the healing can be sowed into hearts, that maybe one day, will be used to guide yet another lost and bruised soul of a little child residing in a grown man or woman needing a lesson in deconstruction. Kuan Yin will light the fires of compassion and ease you into it.