Ever watch a bird soar through the sky? It looks effortless and majestic. Leonardo da Vinci studies birds in flight and eventually came up with plans for gliders, parachutes and other machines related to flight…just by watching. When we watch birds we see the two wings twist and turn, be raised and lowered and move up and down propelling the bird through the sky. It needs both wings to fly.
In our emotional and spiritual lives we need both wings and we need them to work together. In her book Compassion, Christina Feldman writes, “Wisdom and compassion are like the two wings of a bird.. Both are necessary for the bird to soar, both are necessary for our hearts to open and heal.” How have you kept soaring since your diagnosis?
When facing a health challenge it’s easy to develop wisdom because you’re engaged in the scholarly collection of information related to your diagnosis. You become savvy to the medical system by learning the language, understanding the politics of the medical office, and you learn who the decision makers are in regarding your insurance. That’s only one half of the story. The other part, as stated by Feldman, without compassion you only have use of one wing and that means you’ll forever be flying in circles.
It’s a tricky situation to find the balance between heart and head, but it’s important since the mind-body connection is alive and well and scientifically proven. The compassion is not only for yourself, but for each person you come in contact with who is helping you move to a place of health and healing. It’s your medical team, your emotional support and your spiritual directors. For all I know it can be your paper boy…but compassion comes into play because it means that each interaction isn’t false and predicated on what people want to hear…the happy and the good. It includes the full spectrum of your experience.