Moon Reign’s Life Lessons Part 5 – Phaedra

“You’re doing a brave thing.” … “And, the only payment I ask of you, Drystan, is to not sidestep anything that is thrown at you.” 

– Phaedra

Excerpt taken from M. Wednesday’s “Moon Reign – A Fallen Star” chapter 7

The world that we live in can be categorized as selfish, prideful, insincere. Maybe even cruel. Sometimes it can make us wonder if there is any kindness left at all in humanity. But sometimes all it takes is that one person, that one small movement of compassion, to remind us that it’s there, it’s just been buried under years of imperfection. It can remind us that we can be that one person to incite change. 

Phaedra takes the cake in Moon Reign’s role of compassion. When I was organizing my thoughts on how to write this blog, I kept coming to a roadblock. How is this different than Camilla’s role of kindness? Phaedra can be defined as ‘kind’, too… 

Kindness and compassion somewhat go hand in hand. But the difference:  Compassion is the ability to feel for someone or to have the same feeling as that of someone else. … In kindness, a person may feel sorry for some person but will not reflect the suffering person’s feelings. But with compassion, a person may have the same feelings as that of the suffering person.

Simply put, compassion has a deeper and more personal feeling or attachment. Which is what marks the difference between Camilla and Phaedra. 

The close-knit relationship between Phaedra and Drystan and his father Hamond can be plucked right out of Moon Reign’s beginning. Seen as early in chapter 2,  her life is meshed with theirs, even though she lives independent of them and manages her own needs. Although she is described as elderly, she is self-reliant, and her talents in herbal medicine provide her means of income. It’s also what helps sustain Hamond’s health when it drops to an unmanageable state. Deep compassion is the driving source of her unending help given to their family, sacrificing time, energy, and even profit for the sake of Hamond’s well-being. 

“Clover tinctures,” she continued, pouring the clear alcohol over the condensed flowers, “Can work as an anti-inflammatory for lung issues. I’ve been making extras to send home with you. But.” She shook her head, showing him the cabinet full of pink jars. It takes quite a while. About a month. I’d have been giving them to you sooner if the process would quicken.”

“Moon Reign – A Fallen Star” chapter 7

It is fairly easy to extend kindness. Holding a door open for a stranger, leave a gracious tip to a waitress, smile at whoever you make eye contact with. However, those random acts of kindness still give leeway for us to stumble and gripe about the situation when kindness wasn’t returned. Well, that stranger didn’t even say thank you; The food sucked; That person was rude and didn’t smile back. The seconds you sacrificed to show kindness are immediately negated by the poison of your true inner attitude. 

Compassion does not need to be rewarded. 

Compassion will thrive no matter the circumstances because it is built on the change of heart. It is the action of extending yourself to someone for the sake of their benefit, not yours. To live a life of compassion is to expect nothing in return.

Compassion literally means “to suffer with.” True compassion will not run away from a person’s suffering, will not become overwhelmed by said suffering, and does not find a way to throw the person’s suffering under the rug. This is why Phaedra shines as Moon Reign’s exemplar of compassion. It stuck with Hamond and Drystan in their time of need, it was maintained when their trials got harder, and she never developed a mindset that Hamond’s illness would just go away. It never expected anything in return. 

 “Spring’s lingering. These last frosty nights are probably giving your father more trouble than he needs.” She unlidded the loose-leaf tea, giving a whiff of ginger and cinnamon before nudging it in his hands. “Tell him to put the Sage Honey in it. Both will settle his lungs for a few hours so he can sleep through the night.”

Surprise started to decline the unexpected gesture, but she insisted. He felt guilty for taking it without payment. She had too little to be giving away her sales.

“Moon Reign – A Fallen Star” chapter 2

Our compassion can grow with practice. Instead of pinpointing the differences between ourselves and others, find the parallels. Find the commonality. At the end of the day, we’re all human. We’re all people. Set a goal, watch h0w you talk to others, listen to how you respond, frame your day with the intent to practice self-sacrificing compassion. Buy the homeless person a meal. Call help for the person stranded on the side of the road. Text a friend who might be going through something to simply let them know you were thinking about them. 

The lesson learned through Phaedra: Compassion starts with love. And love is unconditional. Always help someone – You might be the only one who does. 

Lyrical inspiration used for Phaedra’s backstory

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