How do you widen your circle of compassion? It has been a dream of ours to assist in the creation of a world where it is completely safe for all of us to love each other. A world where we can be loved and accepted exactly as we are. This world we envision can and does exist now. This world we envision exists in each of our minds. To transmute it into physical reality requires us to embrace the power of viewing the world through the eyes of compassion.
Author and spiritual teacher Pema Chodron suggests to us that
“compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.”
What is the darkness and where does it come from? Look at our history both collectively and personally and we have the answer. Personally, as children, we were socialized and conditioned in so many ways. By the time we reached puberty life became scary and daunting. By this time we pretty well established our own personal viewpoints and ‘takes’ on the world. We were educated and indoctrinated into the world of fear and separation.
A fear of compassion arises because, like so many heart-felt emotions (love, courage, empathy), it creates a feeling of vulnerability.
Vulnerability in our world is a sign of weakness, and anything that is said to weaken us is, to our conditioned, fear-based minds, something to be suspicious of at best.
Many think that having compassion ‘rights a wrong.’ Others may believe that compassion negates a valuable lesson to be learned and justice that needs to be served. And then there are those who may see compassion as a ‘liberal’ approach to those who may be looking for a ‘free ride’ through the journey we call Life.
Compassion is about unity and oneness. Compassion can enable us to heal by removing the socialization and conditioning we succumbed to as innocent children. The power of compassion has been grossly under-used, misunderstood and even ignored in our world for far too long. Compassion is powerful, yet benign. It can move mountains, yet simultaneously heal all wounds. Compassion is an expression of unconditional love and unconditional love is God.
To perceive compassion as dis-empowering is a misinterpretation of what compassion truly is at its’ essence. Einstein wrote:
“a human being is a part of the whole called by us Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.”
So, how do we, as Einstein suggests, widen our circle of compassion? First, we have to be open and willing to create our own circle. Then to widen our circle, to expand our very own compassionate nature and share it with humanity, requires each of us to dissect, peel away and let go of what Einstein called our own ‘optical delusion.’ The result is an unveiling of our essential, true, changeless, eternal nature. By virtue of its connection to God, our true nature only knows compassion. There is no figuring out what compassion is and what it looks and sounds like. We need only to create awareness what compassion is not.
Compassion IS NOT fear. Compassion IS NOT separation and exclusion. Compassion IS NOT lack and unworthiness. Compassion IS NOT brute-force, control and manipulation. Compassion IS NOT greed. Compassion IS NOT hatred.
When we eliminate what compassion is not from our personal selves and subsequently the world-at-large, compassion itself unfolds, breathes, expands and embraces itself within and between each and every life form that exists.
Compassion is an aspect of unconditional love. All the great sages past and present know this and speak about it. All of them were and are the very embodiment of a compassionate nature.
We are all sages. We all possess a compassionate nature. The intent for all of us is to incorporate this nature into our daily lives. This one intention: to be compassionate toward all of life (and this includes ourselves) is the key to thriving on Planet Earth.
Here are some ways you can begin to incorporate the power of compassion and widen its circle in your life:
1.See all of Life as another aspect of yourself. Treat all Life as you want to be treated: with love, kindness and compassion.
2.Let go of personal past hurts and wounds by having compassion for events, experiences and relationships that had less than positive outcomes.
3.Know that we are all living the same life story. It’s just the names, faces, locations and events that appear different. Our stories are part of our journey. They are the Universe giving us ‘feedback.’ By using the feedback wisely you can change your story. See others who are suffering with compassion. They suffer because they are not aware that they have the power to change their story.
4.Give up the notions of striving, achieving and being the best. Your true nature only knows how to thrive and always sees itself as pure perfection. Look within and see your true nature.
5.Practice kindness and give without conditions. Develop a consciousness of oneness. Notice how we are truly ‘all one playing off each other.’
The Dalai Lama put it beautifully when he said,
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”
Now, more than ever, the world as a living, breathing organism needs your compassion. God wants you to be happy! God wants you to thrive! Compassion is a path and our wish is that you walk upon it.
Do you want to learn how to create more compassion for others and for yourself? How about adding some sense of balance to your life too? Learn how to create more compassion and balance with The Blueprint for Living Online Program.