I have been pondering the meaning of compassion ever since. Compassion is something I feel I have always had, and yet, as I study it deeper, I realize that there are several layers to this.
I remembered some information my good friend and spiritual guide, Laura Rose, gave me on Sympathy vs. Empathy. I found this information to be very helpful on what is implied through each. She gave me a handout that explained some of the differences. Here is an excerpt from that handout:
Introduction: When you find yourself in a situation where you want to help or give help, your good intentions will not outweigh the potential damage that can be done by incorrect focus of your energy. Because the situation is made up of energy, the only person who can solve it is the person who created it.** The most important gift you can give anyone is your confidence that they can work out their own problems.
- Sympathy -- "I feel your problem. Oh, it is such a big problem. Let me have it so that I can solve it for you because you cannot. I give you pity."
- Empathy -- "I feel your problem. Because I want to validate you, I will hold up your problem and project it back to you to show you that I understand.
- Compassion -- "I feel your problem. I understand how hard it is to work out your problem because sometimes it is hard for me also. I have confidence that you can resolve your problem because of the natural laws of energy. I know you can work with your own energy and solve your problem. I also know that you will continue to repeat the problem situation until you can solve it for yourself."
The same day I got the tarot reading from Meridee, I came across the following quote on compassion in the book Power vs. Force, by Dr. David Hawkins. Coincidence? Doubtful!
Compassion is the doorway to grace, to the final realization of who we are and why we're here, and to the ultimate source of all existence. (page 284)As I ponder these thoughts, I can see how deepening my understand will impact all of my relationships -- from my kids, my husband, my friends, my clients...and to people I don't even know.
Compassion is something I want to further explore and more deeply integrate into my life.
What's your understanding of compassion and how do you express it in your life?