Vignettes in Aging – Compassion

Compassion is powerful. It does not always come naturally but can be learned easily.

Compassion can be a practice. Holding “space” for another who is hurting is a wisdom of the heart that we can perfect.

Why is it difficult to show compassion? First, perhaps no one has taught you about compassion or how to show it sincerely.  Secondly, expressing compassion means getting outside of your own stuff, getting outside of your head to truly be there for another. You’re not able to show compassion for another if you are distracted by your problems or a “To Do” list, or looking at how you’re coming across to others. Being open is key.

It’s human nature to avoid suffering. Providing compassion to another is a powerful way to lessen that suffering. I can’t solve your problem, but I can embrace you, listen to you, and let you know I’m there for you. These are all power components of compassion.

Compassion is under-rated. When we’re jangly, on edge, bummed out, or feeling like a failure, compassion can be that thing that makes us feel like a “normal” human again. When someone hugs us during one of these moments of angst, there is an instantaneous flowing away of worry, anger, and feelings of not measuring up. Yes, this compassion, in theory, is free; we didn’t have to purchase it or put its cost on our credit cards. It is offered as a salve, a warming shawl or comfort, or a smiling friend telling us they know how we feel.

It is easier to show compassion for someone you love and care for. What about showing it for someone who mistreats you or someone you don’t particularly admire or respect? That is the highest form of successful compassion. Compassion is something to achieve.

Compassion is an excellent gift to another … and to yourself!

Let your compassion be the lens for the evaluation of your success.

Photo:  Matt Collamer on Unsplash