Compassion in Everyday Life
How can we develop more compassion in everyday life and why is this important?
Compassion is necessary and important for us all, perhaps all of us desire to be compassionate on a deep level. It is a fundamental part of who we are and also necessary to our survival.
As god resides in all our hearts it is also a natural state of our being, we are born to be this way but the demands of the material world can detach us in many ways from who we really are.
Many of us are busy and have so many demands upon us that we can often forget ourselves, let alone find time for those in our lives and others beyond that.
This compassionate nature within ourselves is however essential, a life without it is limited. We can chase success and money all day and night but it will not bring us any type of connection or true happiness. For what reasons are we wanting success anyway, do we ever ask ourselves these questions?
Connection is so important, yet we can often forget this as the world is so fast and everything comes so much easier. We do not always know where our clothes and food come from for example, but we are connected to all involved in the process, we just dont see it.
Our modern world today can make it difficult to know where to start when we begin to feel disconnected in anyway. However as anything we can make important changes step by step.
Compassion in general terms is often thought of as giving and being there for others, the definition itself says; ‘Sympathetic pity and concern for the suffering and misfortunes of others.’ Having sympathy for others of course enables us to give more, however if we do wish to be able to give more and have true connections with others there may be many more elements to it.
One part we can easily lose sight of in our busy world is being there for ourselves. How can we be there for others if we are not really there for ourselves. Similarly if we are never there for others we are not connected either. Neither of these are compassion.
We are all connected deeply, so it is important to show compassion to both ourselves and others, what we do is also the example we set for others and our children if we have them.
In a complex world everything seems to become more complex, we can then be compassionate in some ways and not in others. These are some additional possibilities of the meanings and components of compassion.
- Setting examples for others to follow
- Being humble and honest
- Treating people equally
- Asking for help
- Giving-in any way possible
- Treating yourself as you wish to be treated
- Treating others as you wish to be treated
- Not judging ourselves or others harshly
- Being Understanding
- Loving wholeheartedly
- Making time for others and yourself
- Believing and seeing the best in all people and yourself
- Caring for yourself and others
The hardest part for us in todays world is finding the correct balance. It can be easy to sway one way or the other, giving more time to oneself or more time to others, either of which can lead to stress and disconnection. Most important is to be gentle on yourself, by doing this you are setting this example for others and therefore giving as well.
Although our lives require a lot from us, we are not machines, and if we try to be we will sooner or later burn out and then be no good for anyone. So spread yourself evenly in all areas of life if you can.
If we neglect ourselves then we may unintentionally neglect others, likewise if we forget others in our lives we will forget ourselves and who we really are at the core.
Compassion starts with us, we are the example we set to others for ourselves and to others from ourselves, for how to treat and be treated, how to give and be given to. We do this through our behaviour, through our words and actions. This is how we teach and how we learn and we are all teachers in this sense.
If it feels as though you are giving a lot and not receiving perhaps you are not giving to yourself or maybe you do not ask for help where you may need it. Bring your attention closer and meet your needs as well, because you are equally important to all others. Start here and then you can give more. Equally if one focuses too far inwards then others can be forgotten; Find your balance.
Some ways that may help;
- Chant, Pray and Meditate regularly – to connect to the truest part of yourself.
- Take time to care for yourself so you can care for others.
- Exercise and eat well so that you feel good and have more energy for others.
- Take time for those who take time for you.
- Make connections with others wherever you can
- Give where you can.
I hope you found this post useful, please share and comment on your own experiences of what you feel constitutes compassion and how it is for you.
Thank you for reading.
‘If we can sacrifice even a part of our comforts to show compassion to others, we can greatly enrich our lives.’ ~ Radanath Swami