I had the opportunity to show unconditional compassion to someone who was struggling with their life, and it made all the difference for them and, in turn, impacted my life as well.
The practice of compassion can bring more love and peace into our life through kindness, forgiveness, gratitude, and patience. We all want more love and peace in our life.
Compassion Is Not A Feeling – It Is An Action We Take
I believed that compassion was emotion and something I could turn on or off depending on my moods, but this is not the case. Compassion is cultivated through self-reflection, becoming more mindful of our own emotions and thoughts, and developing empathy for others who might feel different ways than we do.
The definition of compassion according to Merriam-Webster is sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it. It is a feeling towards an individual or group of individuals resulting from empathy. When we have compassion for someone, it does not mean that we feel sorry for them. It means to care about their suffering and be willing to do whatever we can in our power as a friend or person who wants what’s best for everyone involved.
Compassion is not just something nice people do when they want more friends, compassion is daily action.
Compassion In Practice: How You Cultivate It?
When we practice kindness, forgiveness, gratitude, and patience, there are a few simple yet powerful things we can do to create unconditional compassion within our hearts. The unconditional compassion we show means not having any expectations in your connection with another.
Practicing kindness, forgiveness, gratitude, and patience is a way to cultivate more love in your life. Compassion means not expecting anything in return. When you are compassionate, you are feeling love for someone else.
Compassion is not a feeling and needs to be cultivated to grow, and like any skill, it needs to be practiced. You cannot just have compassion when something terrible happens to your person or someone you know. That’s sympathy.
Sympathy comes from the misery loves company idea, which means you want others around who are going through a similar experience to feel less alone in your pain and suffering.
When we cultivate unconditional kindness for everyone without any expectation of anything in return, we will genuinely experience true compassion on every level of our beingness–physical, emotional, mental, spiritual. The more conditions there are attached to our compassion, the weaker the connection and relationship will be between people.
The Benefits Of Developing Unconditional Compassion
Developing unconditional compassion can help you feel more love, joy, and peace in your life. You will gain a sense of peace in knowing yourself. Understanding who you are and, in turn, understanding others in your life more fully. Forgiveness of others is easier when we have a deep sense of love for them rather than resentment or judgment.
When we or another is suffering and not living authentically, compassion can help us help ourselves, and others relieve suffering. When we offer unconditional compassion to ourselves and others, change within occurs. Our hearts open, and when our heart is open, we can receive the understanding of others and ourselves expanding our life.
We all want love and closeness with others, yet fear and doubt can block this goal. Unconditional compassion removes the fear and doubt.
How To Begin To Develop Unconditional Compassion
You develop unconditional compassion through practicing kindness toward yourself. It may be challenging to develop unconditional empathy if you are not kind to yourself first. As compassion is an action, not an emotion, it requires you to do something. In order to deeply understand another person’s situation and feelings without judgment, try treating yourself kindly at least once per day.
To begin developing unconditional compassion utilizing mindfulness is very helpful. Mindfulness is the act of being present in the moment and observing your thoughts and feelings without judgment. When you are able to be mindful, you are less likely to get caught up in your own thoughts and emotions. Instead, you will be able to see them for what they are and offer compassion to yourself and others.
How To Be Kind To Yourself
The first step to being kind to yourself is understanding that you are worthy of kindness. Too often, we are our own worst critics and we believe that we do not deserve happiness or success. This negative thinking can become a self-fulfilling prophecy and prevent us from reaching our potential. If you want to be kind to yourself, you need to start by believing that you deserve it.
Be gentle and understanding with yourself, even when you make mistakes. It also means recognizing that everyone makes mistakes and that we all have flaws. Accepting yourself for who you are is an important part of self-compassion.
Once you have recognized that you deserve kindness, start making an effort to show yourself some compassion. This could involve treating yourself with respect, being more forgiving of yourself, or doing something nice for yourself. Whatever you do, make sure it is something that will make you feel good.
- Review your day and see the good in yourself and your actions and acknowledge them to yourself.
- Look at your life and what you are grateful for; a vehicle, food, children, a full head of hair? Comparing what you have or what you look like with others will not be helpful. Each person has unique gifts and challenges.
- Give up on being perfect or trying to please everyone else.
- Make time for self-care, read an article about meditation, volunteering at a local food bank.
Do any of these resonate with you? If not, make time to find and try things that will resonate with you.
How To Show Compassion
You can show your love and kindness for others in many ways, starting today.
Are you thinking, “I don’t have time to do anything!” Showing compassion can be weaved into the fabric of your day and activities.
Here are some simple tips that will take very little of your time but will make a massive difference in the world within and around you:
- Smile at people when they walk by, even if they ignore or look away from you.
- Take a moment out of your day to write an email thanking someone else who has done something nice for you lately.
- If there’s someone on social media that seems down, send them a message asking how they’re doing and telling them about yourself too.
- If someone does not wish to share, respect their privacy.
- Pet an animal.
- Listen fully to another without interruption.
- Be comfortable to just sit with someone saying nothing.
- Leave a note for someone.
- Thank others as well as yourself.
When showing compassion to others, it is important to be genuine. People can usually tell when you are not being authentic. It is also important to be mindful of your own boundaries and not force yourself to do something you are not comfortable with.
Once cultivated within you, sharing your compassion with others will impact you and those around you positively. Always remember compassion is an action to be taken towards yourself and others.