So far we have arrived at a point where the thought of the person/event is no longer painful, does not evoke feelings that are not compatible with our true nature. We have accepted it, we have comprehended it and we remain mentally and emotionally indifferent to it. We could even stop here and not go all the way through steps 4 and 5. But since we are here, let us try to see how we can achieve compassion. Yes, you heard that right! After steps 1 (Acceptance), 2 (Compehension) and 3 (Indifference), compassion is possible!
Compassion is not necessarily love. It is a sense of understanding that someone is suffering (too) and this suffering saddens us whether we want or can do something to alleviate his/her pain or not. In that light, we can relate to that person through our personal suffering.
Yes, I know! It is him/her that caused our suffering but, think about it for a minute! Not one genuinely happy person goes out of their way to hurt or harm others. It is, whom I call, “tortured souls” who (knowingly or unknowingly) harm others. It is because either they want to see others suffer so that their suffering (subconsciously) makes sense to them or they do not care nor do they think about what consequences their actions will have on others. The latter is because their suffering is so great that they can only think about themselves and their pain. They just want to make the pain stop. They just want their “quick fix”.
I know that some of you are thinking, “I am suffering too but I do not make others suffer. Why should I feel compassion for those who are so mean or inconsiderate?”
Well, deep down in your essence you know why. It is because we are not all at the same level of personal development. Maybe we were all given the same opportunities to “evolve” or maybe not. Maybe some of us are quicker to learn.
How can we judge others for not being as far ahead as we are? Think of how many more are “further ahead” than we are. How would you feel if you were “judged” for your level by the standards of a higher level?
Let me give you an example: how fair would it be to give a freshman a mathematical problem for seniors and then “condemn” him/her for not being able to solve it? It is the same thing in life. Some are more advanced than others and we should quit judging and comparing. We should accept each other for who we are at each moment of our personal development.
Compassion is an innate part of who we are as humans. Look at human babies. If you start crying, they will start crying. If they are older, they might even give you their toy to make you feel better. We all have it in our genetic make-up. As with all “skills”, if we want to develop it, the key word is, you guessed it, PRACTICE!
You can start by practicing self-compassion. Forgive yourself for your “mistakes” and give them another name. Call them “lessons”! Words have their own particular energy and you get to choose which energy you want to bring into your life by choosing your words carefully. Stop judging yourself and accept yourself for who you are on the road of your personal development. Accepting without judgement who you truly are is the only way to better yourself. You cannot “work” on your imaginary self, on who you would like to be. You can envision it, you can long for it, but in order to get there, you should accept who you are now. That is the only self you can work on. You can also practice self-care and find ways to heal your trauma (working with a professional would be an excellent idea if you find out that you cannot move forward on your own).
Accepting who you are and being compassionate towards yourself is what you need for your trauma to start to heal. And before you know it, you will be able to start to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and move beyond your self-referencing.
This is where compassion begins…
To be continued…