Are You Compassionate?
Gentleness and compassion cannot coexist with aggression and hatred toward others.
According to Wikipedia, compassion “motivates people to go out of their way to help the physical, mental, or emotional pains of another and themselves.” It goes on to note, “The English noun compassion, meaning to love together with, comes from Latin.”
Here’s how I think of compassion. Compassion is witnessing a struggle and feeling for what that person is enduring. Compassion is knowing when you need a break. Compassion is the courage to stick up for someone else, a desire to protect. Compassion sees the flaws in others and forgives them when they make a mistake. Compassion is an emotional bridge between individuals who recognize the tenderness in each other.
Compassion is empathy in action.
It helps us understand the hardships of others, and strengthens our connection to yourselves and those around us. All of the greatest and highest ideals of the human spirit; forgiveness, acceptance, trust and hope, are all based in compassion.
Research has shown again and again that compassion can help you lead a happier and healthier life. It can make the world a more accepting and loving place and most likely help you live longer.
“Look for a way to lift someone up. And if that’s all you do, that’s enough.” - Elizabeth Lesser
Compassion is considered to be like a muscle, it can be strengthened or deteriorate with relevant exercises. Which means you can choose to be compassionate or not.
But how do we cultivate it in everyday life? Here are a few tips:
1. Be kind to yourself. When you make a mistake, it’s easy to pour salt on the wound and make the situation worse but compassion can help you release negative energy and steer your focus on being softer.
2. I encourage you to release judgment. Instead of jumping to conclusions, try to see others in a compassionate light.
3. Get to the source of your disturbance. Rather than indulging in a bad mood, try to get to the root cause of what’s really bothering you. If you’re being angry and carrying all this baggage with you, you are blocking your inner compassionate self from leading with love.
4. Listen. One of the most loving and compassionate things you can do for someone is giving them your time and undivided attention; be fully present and listen.
Life can be a struggle, but compassion remains my goal. I want to be mindful of my actions and also shine a light on others, so they can see just how wonderful they are. Through compassion you don’t have to suffer alone and whenever you need an ally, I am here to help.
Please share your experience of being compassionate, what you have learned, and the difference it’s making. Let me know in the comments or on Instagram, I would love to connect.