Compassion (again)

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Something that I want to touch on right now as our country reels from yet another mass shooting, as well as from our government’s pathological refusal to do anything about it, is compassion.

Whenever you are at a loss of what to think, what to feel, whenever things feel bleak, or possibly hopeless, whenever your spirit turns sour and embittered, you will never go wrong with retreating to a place of compassion.

I’ve written about this before in the guise of self-compassion, but really, can you ever talk too much about compassion?

The compassion I’m talking about here is not necessarily directed at anyone or anything in particular.   Sometimes we get too in our heads trying to hold compassion for someone whom it’s not natural for us to hold compassion. It may feel stiff and artificial, so why not expand your view?  Simply start with what it feels like to feel compassion.  What specifically does that feel like to you?

Keep the feeling small at first, expanding it to people that it’s easy for you to have compassion for.  Slowly, as you get more comfortable with the feeling, begin expanding it.  Find some image that allows you to hold compassion for people you don’t normally.  Picture them as children, babies, in moments of hardship, or as their loved ones see them.

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Keep working with that feeling until you are resting comfortably in it.  When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with compassion.