This is an old article. On compassion.
I dare to disagree: compassion is not a feeling, compassion is not an emotion. It is a capacity.
It is a human capacity to recognize the other person as a person like you, recognize their state as a state you have seen or experienced, and, surprise, compassion is a willingness to help the person through the situation, inner or outer, to the other side, where they can be well.
The way most people relate to compassion, is more like pity. A superiority. A leaning down to another.
No recognition of the sameness, only the difference: I am better off, I am better, I am lucky.
Compassion is rather a partnership, albeit temporary. But that is, probably, too much to ask of today’s humans… you?
When you feel compassion for someone, how does it feel to you? Does it feel sad, scary, loving, or a mixture? Think about it before you read on. When was the last time you felt compassion? Who were you with? Who was it for? What was happening to them? What did you feel toward them?
Compassion has a different definition in Asia than it does in the U.S., and frankly, I like Asia’s take on it much better. The primary difference is that in the U.S., we can have compassion for others, but not normally toward ourselves. In Asia, the term compassion includes self-love and love for others. I think this is a critical distinction.
I like to define compassion differently than everyone else. Compassion is one of the highest emotions we can experience. It is 100% pure unselfish love. In my definition of compassion, there is no fear. There is no pity. There is no sadness. There is only positive love in the highest vibration. It helps others far more to project our highest positive emotion rather than to spread our negative emotions of fear, sadness, and pity.
And this takes practice to perfect.
In the U.S., we’re not even too used to “practicing” our emotions. They kind of just ooze out of us. Once we start practicing compassion, we can get really awesome at it. We might be lifting the 20 pounder at the beginning, but once we start exercising regularly, we can lift more and more. The benefit of practicing is that we feel more and more love each time. The feeling of love gets more intense, and that feels good.
Here are five steps to experience compassion more intensely than you ever have before.
- Focus on yourself. Center and ground yourself. If you feel afraid, deal with that first before projecting your emotions on others. Compassion is not a negative emotion. Sending compassion because you are having a self-pity party about “what if it happened to me” is not a good reason for sending compassion.
- Fill yourself with compassion first. Most of us need to work on this far more than we realize!
If you need help being more intentional about your emotions, draw from the past: bring to mind a time when you felt tremendous strength, and re-live that emotion through savoring.
- Focus on the person you are sending compassion to. Make sure that in your mind, they are equal human beings to you in every way. This avoids bringing negativity into your compassion through pity or feeling sorry for the subject of your compassion.
- Send compassion to your recipient from a place of pure strength and love.
- Check to make sure your experience of compassion is purely positive, with no fear, no anger, no comparing, and no sadness.
Revel in the fullness and strength of your compassion now compared to how you have sent it before.
Because emotions are contagious, practicing compassion grounded in pure positive emotional vibration will help your recipient far more than compassion generated out of fear. You will feel less drained as well. You may even feel rejuvenated.
Go through these steps a few times until you become used to this new way of practicing compassion. Not only will you feel amazing each time you practice, the world will benefit from your high vibration and positive energy.
When more of us come from a place of high positive emotions more often, the world will move from chaos to calm and from fear to love, one person at a time.