'is there a salve for the wounds of shame?' she asked.
a gentle smile spread across the old woman's face.
leaning closer, she whispered,
'ah yes, but it's more than that.
use it abundantly with kindness and sincerity
and it becomes fire for the soul.
it lights the very stars inside of you back to life.
it is compassion.
have compassion for yourself and others -
deep compassion, freely given,
and you will do more than heal those wounds,
you will truly live for the first time,
and you will taste the stars.'