Suffering No Proof of Love

It’s amazing how many people believe that suffering is a proof of love. If I don’t suffer when you suffer, they think, it means that I don’t love you. How can that possibly be true? Love is serene; it’s fearless. If you’re busy projecting what someone’s pain must feel like, how can you be fully present with her? How can you hold her hand and love her with all your heart aas she moves through her experience of pain? Why would she want you to be in pain, too? Wouldn’t she rather have you present and available?…

You don’t have to feel bad to act kindly. On the contrary: the less you suffer, the kinder you naturally become. And if compassion means wanting others to be free of suffering, how can you want for others what you won’t give to yourself?

— Byron Katie, A Thousand Names for Joy, p. 73, 74

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