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By z4029250730, Oct 3 2017 04:16PM

Ever been hurt? Ever been knocked in the Life School of Hard Knocks? Most people have – to a greater or larger degree. Some terribly so. In my role as a couple, marriage and relationship counsellor in Kettering and as a prison counsellor too (one day a week dealing with men who have been convicted of sexual offences), I see a lot of hurt and pain. A world crying out for healing. And at the drug addict and alcoholic centre I now work at as a volunteer (one day a fortnight) I see and hear of more pain. Terrible. Sometimes too much. Never mind about turning on the news and seeing so many victims of war, ethnic cleansing, famine, etc. Plus my knowledge of the Holocaust and the World Wars etc. because of my interest and degree in Modern History. A world crying out with such terrible pain.

So where does healing come from? Can it come? Is it out there? The answer has to be “Yes – up to a point.” We can’t eliminate all of the pain in the world but we can do our bit to be part of the solution – not part of the problem. And as Jabez cried out to God in the Bible, “…that you would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain.” We can actively, by choice, try and not to increase the pain in the world but to help others get through their’s. We can’t change the whole world. But as Mother Teresa said, “we change the world one person at a time.” Or, as my friend Garry Hare said many years ago, we can try and affect our ‘sphere of influence.’ For me, that is my clients and counsellees, friends and family. For Donald Trump, that can be the world. For you, it’s those you come into contact with that you can affect - for good or for bad.

So, what is compassion and have we got enough inside of us to be able to give some away? A dictionary definition of it is: “sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.” That sounds alright. Surely we all have a bit of that – with some to spare? And it doesn’t take too much to be able to demonstrate a bit of t.l.c. (tender loving care) to someone who needs it. Or maybe as some others do, to participate in “acts of random kindness.”

I do think that when we have experienced pain ourselves, then we are in a better position to help, empathize and have compassion on others. I think many counsellors have got into counselling after coming from a background of trying to work through their own pain. On a similar level, when I was in Kettering Hosptial Acccident and Emergency Unit early last Saturday morning with a very painful knee that they were giving me painkillers including morphine for, I was VERY empathetic to the pain of others and it gave me a new insight into the ridiculousness and futility of war – when people deliberately try and inflict pain, killing and destruction onto others. I understood and emphasised far better about the physical pain of others. We can also give people comfort and compassion when we ourselves have received and experienced it from others. We know how it works!

And perhaps the world is full of compassion – it’s just that we don’t see or hear of it. It doesn’t make such good news headlines as disaster, pain and terror. In fact there are probably billions of acts of compassion a day – just as there are many bad acts every day. We just have to try and make sure that, for our part, we are involved with the good, loving, kind, compassionate things that happen – not the bad, awful things. As, as Isaiah cried out (like Jabez, also in The Bible), “Comfort, comfort my people.”

If you feel you need some help, compassion and counselling in Kettering – couple, marriage, relationship, individual or family – then do please contact me at Resolve Counselling.

David Woodward