Love In Action: Conclusion to What is Love

So how can you help? Does that query daunt you? Does it fill you with dread at the dramatic actions required in a world falling apart to impact, in even the most minor way, the love-starved world in which we live. Take heart. Here’s a story (another true one) I love to tell my clients, based on a study:

Chicks were placed in a pool, and were timed on how long they could swim before they began to sink from exhaustion. After the scientists averaged the time, the chicks were then given a fright (my compassion, now, to the chicks, who were nearly drowned and then given a terrifying shock!). That fright indeed put them into shock, as they became rigid, their breath becoming shallow, their circulation slowing down…and some of you may find those symptoms familiar. At random, they were then given to two sets of handlers; one set was directed to take each chick and massage, blow on, sing to, and otherwise do things to get these babes going again, the other set was instead directed simply to hold…the…chicks, cupping them gently in their hands. In other words, other than providing firm, secure touch, do nothing.

Then, they put the chicks in the pool again, and timed them until, once again, they tired. So, reader, you know where this is going: which group tired most easily, in other words, was least resilient to the stress of constant swimming, and who proved the strongest? Take a guess before you read the next paragraph.

If you guessed with Neitsche, that that which does not kill you makes you stronger, you are both wrong, and right. The middle time belonged to the before-shock group. So which intervention, doing or not-doing, built strength? If you guessed massaging/blowing/etc., buzzzz. Wrong. Those forced to heal in the end became less resilient; those simply supported, proved stronger. In loving each other in a way that does not judge, force, hurry, but instead allows simply for shared and compassionate presence, we allow each other to become stronger in weathering stress, even trauma, than those who have not encountered stress.

So, one chick to another, let’s hold each other with compassion, and enjoy the fruits of love in action.

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