Compassion is one of those words that everyone seems to use however, very few people really seem to understand what compassion is. When I notice these things in my world, I usually head for the dictionary to get the meanings of the word so that I have at least a base to start from. So with compassion here is the definition that is in the encarta:
Compassion: “sympathy for the suffering of others, often including a desire to help.”
When I looked at these two definitions, what came to mind for me about compassion was:
In order to have compassion for another person, I need to be able to feel what they are feeling, understand what it is that they are going through and be able to share my understanding of what it is that is happening in their life by listening, feeling what they feel, and relate to where they are at in their life by drawing on my personal experiences in order to understand their situation and their feelings.
Can I have compassion for another person without doing those things?
Showing compassion for another to me is:
- Listening to their words and actions
- Identifying with their feelings
- Relating similar situations in my life with the situations that are happening in their life (Usually in silence, and then sharing verbally only if it is appropriate to them receiving what they need to work it through personally).
- Being fully involved in their moment with them
- Not attempting to fix their situation, but just being in their presence and offering them your presence as a gift to support them as they are expressing all that they are and all that they are going through.
Then to take it one step further to really understand what compassion is I needed to check out the definition of Sympathy:
Sympathy: mеanѕ thе ability tо enter intо оr share anothеr person’s feelings.
This is perhaps the most important aspect of compassion. If you cannot or choose not to enter into or share in another persons feelings, then please do not go there.
The rules that I choose to follow are:
- If I am wanting to fix it, or them, I do not enter into the situation (That is not compassion, that is control).
- If I have walked a similar mile in their shoes, I can listen and understand what is happening through identifying with their feelings and be the human being that I am….and that to me is support and compassion.
- Many times just being present radiating all that I am to all that they are without words is what compassion is all about.
How about you, what is compassion to you?
Peace, love, light and blessings!