DEFINITION: a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another Who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.
Everyone needs to tell their story and they need to be HEARD. Compassion isn’t just for others, it is also towards ourselves.
Learning how to balance, give and receive compassion without guilt, shame, or embarrassment … or co-dependency, is an art, and a more fulfilling way of healing yourself, others, and in living an enriched and loving life.
Compassion is more than just having the ability to know or feel what another person is feeling. It is a desire to help. Whether the help comes in the form of financial assistance, help with a task such as carrying groceries for a stranger in the parking lot, or going the extra mile to help someone stranded on a road, compassion was the catalyst.
While developing a relationship with a new individual or a group of individuals, it is our natural default to make certain judgments based upon what we see and hear. (Just try and NOT do that!)
For those who have a great deal of empathy and a desire to help others, the struggle may be a question of whether or not they can resist falling into co-enabling behaviors or from being “taken” yet again by someone who has no problem making their own story so larger than life, that those who love to give can be easily taken advantage of.
In Circles Groups we talk about the differences between compassion, empathy, co-enabling, and how to spot truth and set boundaries. This is no small task! Yet this is a constant thread (as is all of our values) when we are facilitating conversations and activities.
The strongest endorsement comes from those who have seen compassion in action among the members of our group. The desire to create a loving and safe atmosphere is an ongoing effort as we learn to have compassion with others AND ourselves. After all, you cannot give what you do not have! We talk about that too.