Last week I asked three people how they had survived their divorce process? They each said that their friends and family members being so supportive was their key to their survival and current success. This again reminded me that we truly need compassionate people in this world. And when we encounter such people, they make it possible for us to do well in the future and help another human being or two also.
What does it mean to be a compassionate person anyway?
When I used a thesaurus, it states that compassion is having tender feelings towards another person. It used such words as: benevolent, charitable, humane, sympathetic, and warmhearted to describe the verb.
However, I often hear people talk about their compassion as a duty. They feel obliged to suffer with another person. One problem with this definition of compassion is that it naturally creates fatigue for the one carrying another person’s load. Feeling like you are suffering is much different than feeling like you get to participate in another person’s difficulty in life.
This type of compassion where pity is involved can create complications since joining with another person often includes feeling the other person’s feelings. This often leads to walking in the same path but does not necessarily lead to any successful traction towards a whole or better life. However, being benevolent like the thesaurus states sounds like a kind, compassionate, and generous act – where the support is not a “hand out” but a “hand up” for support. This would entail a long term thought process as to what is best for the person in the long run. Not just acquiescing to appease, but being a truth seeker towards an authentic long-term relationship.
How does one cultivate self-compassion so that those who partner with us out of compassion arrive at a better place long- term instead of just walking in the muck together?
How do we partner with another person out of compassion but with kindness towards ourselves? We must see compassion as the gift of being able to empathize with another person, without being caught in that person’s misfortunes. Part of the solution is re-framing compassion in a positive manner. It would mean that we look at every person’s problems as a possible gift to us and them. A gift where we can share kindness for ourselves and others – showering lots of forgiveness on the journey. A way for us to practice mindfulness without wallowing in another person’s problems, and a way for us to see ourselves as a part of the community of humanity so that helping benefits all involved.
My question for the week is:
- If we could change our own view on practicing compassion towards others and ourselves, would we become more beneficial?
- And if we became more compassionate towards others how would our world be positively affected?
Please write a comment and let me know what you think!