As I walk along the beach in the early morning, all alone save for a few joggers, my mind goes to the issue of compassion. It seems as long as I can remember, this is a trait that I could embrace. The only piece missing for me at times was to come from a place of compassion for myself. During those times when I could not find it within myself to lovingly embrace me, it seems I expended all my energy giving it to others and ended up drained, feeling empty.
I once felt that putting me first was an act of selfishness but I have found that this could not be further from the truth. When I embrace myself, telling me I am good, kind and deserving of love, it seems my heart fills to the brim and I have so much to offer others, whether it be a merely a smile, hug, or a warm thought.
So why is it that some people we meet don’t seem to have the compassion “gene”? Our culture, experiences, traumas, our parents’ traumas, etc. all cause us to approach life differently. Is compassion lost to those who have had these different experiences? I believe compassion can be taught and we can be our own teacher.
Practicing mindfulness, I believe, is the first step to finding our compassion mojo. Breath-by-breath, in a non-judgmental way, we could begin by sending out a blessing to those we care about, then on from there to those we struggle with, and end with a blessing for ourselves. Many meditation mantras are available or you can use your own words. This is one approach and may be the easiest, as it is natural to send out positive energy to those we already care about, but not so easy to do so for more challenging folks and sometimes the most difficult to send the love back to ourselves. Starting today, how about we all give ourselves a big hug first, knowing that we are good and kind, worthy of the love we give to others, then continue on to embrace those who we may see as different. What have we got to lose?
emerging from the heart
embracing the globe
in an intricate web
all carry messages
Words filled with…
beautiful to behold
heart connection felt.
© LuAnn Oburn 2012
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