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ASK A WITCH-Compassion

Compassion is a superpower, and the more you practice it, the better you, and the world, will be. 

 

 

 

I'm looking for some advice on comfort. I myself did not have the best parent example growing up and I feel my oldest son is sad. I have 2 teenagers-my youngest is a high energy crowd pleaser who loves people, is very kind and loving and can talk about his feelings. I then have my oldest son who is more reserved, an emotional human, taking everything in but also very kind. Lately my oldest has been acting out with anger but I'm not so sure that he wants to react this way, I believe it is just a hormone response to sadness. His girlfriend (of a year) has moved to college and he is still finishing his senior year in high school. Most of his friends graduated last year and I sense he is feeling sad and lonely. He is recently lashing out on his loved ones (family) and my heart hurts for him. Is there a compassion spell you can suggest... Sincerely, Not the Best Example.

 

Dear Example

 

I love the idea of a compassion spell and am currently trying to think of one that would be strong enough to cast on the whole world. Compassion is one of the most beautiful qualities to have, and one of the most difficult to cultivate, though certainly not impossible and definitely worth while. I commend you for being in the position to recognize that you could use more of it; I can only dream of a day when more people will realize their own need for such a powerfully unifying emotion. That said, based on your letter, I believe that you already have a good deal of it-you are able to recognize the emotions of someone else, feel empathy for their suffering, and use that superpower with kindness.

To further develop your compassion, the best exercise I can think of is to put yourself in someone else’s position. We can easily dismiss the opinions and feelings of others, until we try to really imagine what it is like to be them- their own suffering and life experiences have led them to be and act the way they are. Someone rude to you at the store? Take a moment and think about their day- maybe they got bad news that morning, got in trouble at work, or got a flat tire in the rain. All of a sudden the instinctual reaction to be rude back dissolves and we can come from a place of understanding for their anger, which of course is not about us.

I myself am not a parent, so I wish to be transparent with my own limitations when I attempt to give you advice about your son. That said, I do have many people I care about and can relate to your desire to offer comfort to a suffering loved one. The truth is, sometimes we just have to hold space for someone in pain. Sorrow will come up for all of us sooner or later (or sooner and later, unfortunately) and these feelings must be felt. There is no shortcut through pain. It deepens us and if we have support and resources we can come out on the other side stronger and more resilient. Your son may need someone to talk to who is not his mom; as close as you are you may not have the best perspective on what he is going through, and he may feel uncomfortable being completely candid with you. I encourage you to seek another adult to council him- a therapist, minister, teacher, aunt or uncle, or family friend (or local witch). He probably feels misunderstood (he is a teenager, after all) and being heard by a respected adult could help him to move through this difficult time. Continue to exercise patience and compassion in every interaction you have with him. This is easier said than done sometimes, so try not to be too hard on yourself if you occasionally falter.

As far as magical remedies go, it can’t hurt to bring some intention to the situation. Always start any spell work by opening protected space in whatever way feels good to you (I call in the elements, directions, animal and spirit allies). Clear away a little corner of your home to be an altar for a few days/weeks- only keep it up for as long as you are interacting with it. Place a picture of you and your son, a candle, and any other sacred items (flowers, stones, feathers, plants, etc). Light the candle and stare into the flame. Imagine its warming light enveloping both of you, and think or say aloud the qualities you are nourishing- compassion, mercy, kindness, love, understanding, healing, joy, and so forth. Writing them down to sit on the altar is a good idea too; you can always add to the list. Visit and interact with your altar daily for as long as you have it built- you can add new items, rearrange the objects, add to your list, light the candle- anything you feel inspired to do. Always open and close your safe space, and when you are ready you can dismantle the altar, offering honoring and gratitude to each object and especially to your son and to yourself.

Energy work can also be helpful (for both of you!) as we can hold our emotions and traumas in our energy bodies, causing all sorts of blocks and heaviness. You can read my ASK A WITCH on Chakras for further instruction on how to do some of this work on yourself, or you can find a healer to help you.

 

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