Today I join over 1000 other bloggers and writers to flood the internet with good, to talk and blog about compassion and what it means to me.
When I think of compassion, more often than not I think of the compassion I have towards people who are needier than me. People who are ill, poor, homeless, injured, hurt. And while it’s important to have compassion towards these people, there are two other important people we need to have compassion towards:
1. Ourselves – Believe it or not, we are important and how we feel is important. Most of the time we’re so hard on ourselves, far harder than we’d be on someone else going through the same thing. If I had a friend going through a difficult time, I would message/call her, let her know I was thinking of her. But when it comes to myself, I raise the bar. At least I think I do. And that’s where mama guilt comes in too. We’re constantly striving to do the best for our children and be the best parents (and so we should, our children become us) and we want to put forward the best version of ourselves but somewhere amidst the school runs, lunches, dinners, baths, story time, we need to have a bit of compassion and give ourselves a break. We’re only human, we’re not perfect and as long as we know we’re doing our best, that should be enough.
2. The people who hurt us – This sounds like an odd one right? Why should we be compassionate towards people who hurt us? They don’t deserve our compassion, do they? I think they do. I’m not saying this is always easy. When someone has verbally or physically abused you or when someone goes behind your back to hurt you or isn’t there when you need them the most or let’s you down, feeling compassion for them and trying to get to the source of their behaviour helps you let go…helps you forgive…and helps you move on. So feeling compassion towards them is actually helping you.
As a virgo, I’d like to think I’m quite a compassionate person. I’m touched by people around me, those less fortunate, those who *need* my help. But in the last couple of years I’ve realised that the compassion I need to feel the most is self-compassion. Because it’s only when we are gentle on ourselves that we can be gentle with our children and with the people around us.
Compassion should not be misunderstood for pity/self-pity. To me, compassion is when you soften how you feel about someone else and try and put yourself in their shoes and understand their reasons for being where they are or doing what they do. It’s not always easy but it should be a work in progress. Because ultimately compassion leads to acts of kindness and we definitely need more of that in the world.
I’ve had the pleasure of reading some beautiful posts today and it never ceases to amaze me how powerful the internet is. How over 1000 people from around the world have come together on the blogosphere to unite in compassion.
Compassion can make a difference, compassion is the answer, compassion matters.
*This post was written as part of a blogging movement, #1000Speak for Compassion, a worldwide link-up, where over 1000 bloggers are writing for compassion.