Compassion is a very small term which has a deep meaning if one really tries to understand or give it a thought. We all have heard or rather every religion teaches us to be compassionate. Every religion preaches the quality of compassion; that one must develop compassion towards other human beings, others’ sufferings and problems and implement it in one’s own action. I am not sure how many of us actually follow that path or work upon developing this quality within our own self. It is definitely not difficult to follow this path, but what is required is a true will to become the owner of this invaluable quality and attribute.
Compassion is a quality that is not only about showing sympathy towards the one who is in pain, but it is that herb which comes with more than one nutritional value for a soul. To follow the path of compassion in the true sense, one needs to implement it in his/her own character. I mean one must learn the art of self-compassion. Help yourself first to help others. If you are only in pain and if you yourself are a victim, how can you bring others out of their misery? So Self-compassion is the first step towards understanding the quality of compassion in its true form.
Like we say that compassion in general is showing pity or sympathy towards those who are in pain, thus self-compassion is the same thing applied to your own self. Every one of us is currently in a state of some or the other pain which is in the form of external problems like relationship and self-development issues or internal problems like anger, hatred, jealousy and greed. More than the external ones, the internal ones need special attention because once these are cured, the external ones get healed naturally. All of us are clouded with the diseases like negativity, jealousy and the ones I just mentioned. Hence, before we really learn to help and develop compassion for others we must realise that we ourselves are in no better condition.
We too need to first work upon these evils which have made place inside us and for that we need to look towards our own self with compassion. Only when we realise this fact, then we can start making an effort towards bringing about a change within by helping ourselves. In order to make the idea of compassion more clear, let us see the below points which highlight the technique through which one looks towards own self with compassion.
Introspection, as we have discussed in many previous articles, is a way to analyse one’s own inner self and one’s own doings and actions. It is about becoming self-critical with a view to understanding own mistakes and working upon it. Thus, when one enters a state of introspection, one is actually realising his/her own shortcomings and only at this point, one looks towards own self with compassion.
When one keeps an attitude to learn from everyone and anyone around, then he/she is on the path of accepting own mistakes. When does one become ready to learn from others; only when they want to improve upon their own ideology or personality? This act or this ideology is nothing but showing compassion towards ones’ own self.
If you have ever realised the problems which your ego puts in front of you or the loss that you have incurred due to your ego and are making an attempt to get rid of this ego, then you are walking on the path of self-compassion.
To develop the quality of self-compassion, one must love his/her own self; one must be living in this world not just for the sake of it but to utilise every moment for the development of basic qualities and nurturing the basic values that one must have learnt. When one loves their own self, only then do they work upon a change within themselves. This is known as self-compassion.
For one to give birth to this quality within one must accept the fact that he/she is ill and really needs help; that he/she is being governed by the negative emotions of hatred, anger, etc… This thought process urges one to look towards their own self with an eye of compassion, sympathy and pity. One who needs to improve their personality in the true sense, needs to achieve this level of compassion for own self because with this starts the process or the attempt to improve and change for own good.
The beauty of this quality is that once it develops for self, it naturally starts extending towards others too. Then we start understanding the pain and sorrows of all and spread this compassion to them and make every possible effort or rather wish for their well-being. Thus, one quality of self-compassion extends outwards and eventually gives birth to associated qualities of humbleness, gratitude, generosity, kindness, humility and above all love for others as well as self. That is why I mentioned above that compassion is that herb which comes with more than one values and qualities.
All that is required for one to improve is the will to improve. It definitely cannot happen overnight and so a conscious effort is required or if not possible, then guidance of someone who is already walking on that path is required. So just take that first step today towards a change that will reflect in your tomorrow.