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How to Have Compassion for Yourself and Others
A wise old owl sat in an oak.
The more he saw, the less he spoke.
The less he spoke, the more he heard.
Why can’t we Let Go, like that wise old bird?
What is compassion?
Socrates said, “Man can only choose the good.” What this means is, If man could do better he would. If you could do better you would. There you have it. Compassion is really that simple. It’s us accepting that everyone, in each moment, is doing the best he or she can with who they are and what they know.
The Martha Stewart example. In response to the accusation of insider trading, Martha’s best was to lie. We could accept, who she was, believed it was “a good thing” to avoid the truth. I like to imagine after all she’s been through Martha has become compassionate. It’s the key to forgiveness and self-acceptance and a more honest existence. Compassion begins with acceptance.
Why should I accept the mass murderer?!
I’m not suggesting you accept his behaviour. Accept him and have compassion. From his limited mind and heart, he believed his choice was the good. I’m super pleased it’s not your good or mine.
I don’t get it.
If we live in a place of non-acceptance we learn nothing. If we chose acceptance then compassion becomes available. We become open to learning. What can we learn from a horrible event? To heal ourselves. To let go.
Being asked to find compassion for a mass murderer is pushing it, don’t you think?
Congratulations! If you felt resistance to my request that’s real spiritual work! Incidentally, real spiritual work is rarely all sunshine and lolly-pops. It’s gritty and raw. It’s going into the chaos with your eyes wide open (all three of them – ha ha!). Spiritual work requires courage. It asks you to notice when your culture is demanding you judge and banish. It’s asking you to step up, protect yourself first and find a reverence for all of life. Maybe the best thing for all concerned is to incarcerate dangerous people. It’s how we do this that lacks compassion.
Yes, I might agree. But what about stupid people? We can’t put them in jail.
The next time someone (maybe you) does something stupid, tell yourself, “That’s the best she could do.” Or, “That’s the best I could do.” Then stop talking about it and let go.
Thank you for considering compassion as an option and thank you for letting go what might be in the way.
*This website is dedicated to helping people to let go. Learning how to let go has had a positive impact on my life. On each page and post, I encourage you to let go. Of course, you are always free to let go or not.
How is your Letting Go Practice?
Doree offers lifestyle coaching and spiritual direction.
To book a session, Visit EmpathFit.com
Spiritual Directors International