What is compassion? What does it mean to you?
Every single day we are capable of finding compassion within ourselves and touching someone else with it. Compassion has a very contagious quality to it. Research now backs this up with some very fascinating science on how compassion expands like ripples in a pond.
Compassion builds within us the strength, courage and resiliency to lean into our own suffering as well as the suffering of others. How do we do this?
For some of us, when we see the world in such a state of chaos and tragedy, we see unfathomable violence and deep pain. The enormity of this can shut us down. It literally collapses our nervous systems and our regulatory systems and we go numb. We can feel overpowering dread and a crush under a devastating felt sense of powerlessness. We don’t know what to do. Or rather we don’t know what we are all capable of doing…..yet.
One of the first steps in compassion training is how we choose to show up—for ourselves, and for others. This is not magical thinking. We are keenly aware that we are not able to erase or eradicate the horror of unthinkable events. But we can change how we relate to them. We let them coexist. We can hold the tension of their duality and draw ourselves forth from the numbness. We don’t succumb to the darkness and the entropic pull downward because we see a bigger picture. That is just one horrific piece. We can put the inextinguishable light of BIG compassion right next to the ghastly and grim darkness.
And if enough of us are willing to fight gallantly, and to stay awake and refuse to be afraid of the darkness, compassion can be the flint to light the spark and bring forth the flames of light. Can you imagine how our world would change?
Can you imagine a world of peace?
I think of the 1971 Coca-Cola ad on the hilltop….”I’d like to teach the world to sing (In Perfect Harmony), I’d like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company.” It’s the real thing…….
We can live from loving kindness and compassion. We can cultivate love within us and share it with those we encounter around us. Compassion is an expression of goodness that is bidirectional, growing outward and inward toward ourselves. Ironically the more we extend ourselves outwardly to help and connect to others, the more healing power it has on our own physiology. We can actually heal ourselves by being compassionate. I would love to tell you about the fascinating science behind this and about all of the efficacy based research that is showing compassion training to dramatically reduce anxiety, social anxiety disorders, depression, and a whole host of medical and mental health disorders. If you would like to learn more about how to train in compassion, click here.
What can you do? You can register for Cognitive Behavioral Compassion Training and train in compassion. Our world is demanding this of us. We must rise from the ashes stronger and healthier, sending hope and compassion. Compassion Training is one small piece. But it is what you CAN do.
Register here today and save with early bird pricing.
**If you would like to bring Cognitively Based Compassion Training to your group, church, school or work place, please reach out and contact me here.
P.S. I am collaborating on an amazing project with my dear friend Jennifer Willhoite and we are looking for real life stories of compassion. If you would like to share your story for a chance to have it featured and impact many lives on our upcoming online workshop, please submit it to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credit given to: Jill Christensen