Monday, January 21, 2013

Being Compassion vs. Doing Compassion

There is a difference between "doing compassion" and "being compassion."

We may give because "we are supposed to." This giving may seem laborous and become much like following a code of rules. The danger being that giving can even become a mechanical process that involves checking things off a list or just part of a routine. When we do this we may be "doing compassion."

When we give out of any other motivation other than to contribute to the enrichment of life we are not fully in the spirit of compassion.

"Doing compassion" can serve life and is not bad. It is just that it can lead us off the path of love if we are not careful. The charity benefits, the dog feels better and the neighbor is thankful for our help. Yet it is not the same as "being compassion."

Caring for Others
"Being compassion" is about embodying compassion. It is every moment being in touch with caring for others or ourselves. We empathize with all living things. We bear with others' pain and suffer with them because we connect with their predicament.

"Being compassion" is giving that is connected to an intrinsic motivation (not because we are supposed to). It may be, possibly, volunteering regularly at a soup kitchen as well as giving a donation to a charity for the poor. It may be helping out many charities. It may be seeing someone in need and not looking away and being a good samaritan. It is caring at all times for others and life.

It involves practicing self-compassion. For example when we make a mistake we don't beat ourselves up by saying that we are stupid but instead hold ourselves with tenderness. We may tell ourselves that we can learn from this and not get caught up criticizing ourselves.

In regard to others, we empathize when others do things we don't like. If someone doesn't take out the garbage or is late we hold them with understanding and grace.

"Being compassion" is a lifestyle. Moment to moment we connect with our heart to help us navigate through trials, conflict and difficult situations so that we can meet life with the love of God.

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