Compassion means "to suffer with"...

Compassion means "to suffer with"...

We instinctively know what compassion is. We are hard-wired to want to help someone who is in pain.

If you saw someone fall suddenly on the sidewalk in front of you, you immediately assess if they are injured. Your brain quickly investigates: how bad is this? is anything broken? are they bleeding? do they need my help?

After that assessment, your heart investigates: how can I help them? do I need to call for an ambulance? what can I do to make this better for them? how can I reassure them? I will tell them I am here and will stay with them until we get help.

Simultaneously, you are imagining their pain level, because you are a human too and you know pain from falling. You feel empathetic, because you have been in this situation before. You want to help, because you would want someone to help you. You intuitively know we are here to help one another and you naturally help this person.

During this event, you are not silent. You are likely offering comforting, calming words for this person to hear. You are likely encouraging them that help is on its way and you will stay with them. You are offering hope.

We do this because we are hard-wired as humans to show compassion. You know how this works. You know how to do it.

Now, do it for yourself too.

Re-read this post and imagine you are both the one falling and the one helping. When you are suffering, show yourself the same love you would show another person. Love begets love. The more you help yourself, the more you help others. The more you can show gentle kindness to yourself, the more you show gentle kindness to others. Begin today.

Sources for Academic Research on Self-Compassion

Sources for Academic Research on Self-Compassion

Is self-pity the same as self-compassion?

Is self-pity the same as self-compassion?

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