How to have compassion

It’s often said that nobody has compassion for others anymore.  I have often wondered why that is.  And then it dawned on me that it’s very difficult to have compassion for others if you don’t have compassion for yourself.

One way to know if you have compassion is to think about the thoughts you have when you royally screw up.  Let’s say you are doing that thing we all do the overrated multi tasking.  You are cooking dinner, putting away dishes and helping with home work.  (This just sounds like a recipe for disaster to me but it happens way too often.)  So as you can probably predict, you step away from the stove to look at that math problem and give your best try at common core (we won’t even go there) and low and behold that wonderful dinner you were planning gets burned to a crisp.

We all know that there may be a few F bombs that come out of your mouth.  But after that what do you tell yourself about burning dinner.  You may just decide to order take out which is fine.  But what do you say.  Do you say to yourself:“OMG I am so stupid.  How did that happen?  I know better.  What an idiot I am.”  OK this is not an example of having compassion.  

So an example of self compassion would be for you to think, “Wow I made a mistake.  I was just trying to do too much.  It’s OK.  I’ll just order take out and next time I’ll have my kids help me with the dishes so I won’t be so rushed.  Thank God I can afford to order take out.”

It will take some effort to be aware of the thoughts you are thinking.  But with a little effort on your part you can develop self compassion.  You will soon notice that soon you will start feeling more compassion for others as you develop self compassion.


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