I’ve always considered myself a compassionate person but lately I’ve been reassessing this belief.
The truth is, I am quite compassionate, when it’s convenient and easy and comfortable and familiar.
There are other times though, either when dealing with someone who I find very difficult or, sad as it sounds, I’m being the difficult one and decide to take it out on others. These are the times that call for true compassion and yet the hardest times to truly put it in to practice.
Perhaps what I am really speaking of is empathy. I realize they are not exactly interchangeable but they do go hand in hand, sister emotions.
Either way, I’ve been in a few situations lately where my patience and tolerance were majorly tried and after reacting rather unsympathetically I found myself dwelling on the scenario. A few days ago, while speaking with a particularly difficult (to me) person and feeling a ball of impatience, judgement, and frustration grow in my gut, it hit me hard; I was not practicing my yoga! My light was not seeing and honoring her light, I was not treating her as I would like to be treated.
So I took a deep breath, chilled the fuck out, and attempted to realize the true nature of empathy and compassion. It’s not always convenient and it’s not always easy but it is always, always appropriate.
In the end, I actually found some pleasure in our interaction because I let go of my own preconceived notions of how she was being inconsiderate to me and recognized that in this moment, this woman was doing the best she could and so was I. And you know what? Not only was the whole interaction more pleasant, at the end of the day I was proud of myself. I like feeling proud of myself. Selfish motivators are powerful motivators. 🙂
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” The Dalai Lama
I wanna be happy!
Being compassionate is not about being a push-over or a people pleaser, it’s about getting over yourself enough to recognize that we’re all the same, we’re all struggling, we’re all on this journey of the human experience, and ultimately we all want love and respect. Sound familiar? Sounds golden to me.