Compassion is to know the pain and suffering of others. Not to know about the suffering and pain of others, but in some way to actually know that pain—to enter it, hear it, taste it, let it in. We talk about getting in touch with our feelings, and that is central to our freedom. The complementary step is to get in touch with the feelings of others. This necessitates getting into their frame of reference, their way of perceiving. Others’ way of seeing might seem wrong or distorted, yet it still is their experience of life…. In part, knowing that someone understands and feels our pain is the relief we need, even if nothing more can be done.
N. Gordon Cosby
Source: Seized by the Power of a Great Affection