Friday 21 February 2014

DSTSS - true compassion

5.  Develop your compassion

I've spent the past few days thinking about this one and re-reading the chapter in the book.  I actually think it was a game changer for me way back when.

Compassion is simple - walk in someones else's shoes, imagine what it is like to be the person you are interacting with, who has all the problems and nod and say "yes, i understand how you feel".  See, it's simple hey......

I didn't really understand the impact that true compassion has on ourselves and those around us when i was feeling bad about myself and my life. Compassion is one of those tricky ones.  I think we all think we have it and display it, but do we really have compassion that makes a difference, compassion that makes us feel good, compassion that makes other people feel better and compassion that is really from the heart and meaningful.  Probably not!

When i started to deconstruct my life and put all those problems in their rightful place, i discovered my version of compassion.

For me, it was initially about me - how could i understand how someone else was feeling or what might be causing everyone around me to irritate me, when i didn't understand how i was feeling. It was about stepping out of my problems and looking at them from afar and then acknowledging that as fucked up as things seemed, if i could start to like myself more then it would probably help.

I chose to and had to open my heart not only towards myself, but towards others.  I acknowledged that everyone has stuff going on (a story, a journey) that makes their life what it is - whether good or bad - and that if i could honestly find perspective, then my outlook would be different. If i felt sorry about me and my problems (just for a short time), then why shouldn't i feel sorry about others and their problems. But if I was only to focus on me and my problems, then i wasn't going to be graceful or peaceful.  That doesn't mean that you become a victim of someone else's problems, but you can understand why they may struggle - whether it's over something really big or really small.

From that i gained compassion. i could look at a situation and put myself into someone else's shoes and feel what it was like to walk in have some perspective. Whether it was on the road, at work, in a queue, in fact anywhere.  I was then able to look at situations and think about whether they warranted the negative attention that i was giving them, or whether i should acknowledge them and use them to build a bigger picture and as such take my focus off the small stuff.

So, after writing this, i felt that the picture that was worthy for this post was one of me, to remind myself, that for me, compassion has to come from my heart and i had to let go. 

Compassion really likes to spend time with tolerance, peace, humility, kindness and  joy.

Note to self: be the person who cares, be the person who accepts, rather than judges, be the person who talks from their heart, not from their ego, be the person who can put aside the small stuff and move on from it, because the peace that comes from that, is really worth it.

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