I remember when I was about 7 or 8 years old, I came home from school one day, complaining to my mom that a classmate was picking on me. My mom asked what happened, and I explained that the girl got mad and said I couldn’t hang out with her. My mom’s first response was, “Maybe she’s having a bad day or something is happening at home.” It turns out, I was just an extremely sensitive child, and no one had a clue what to do with me (I digress). But, those words stuck – my mom was teaching me compassion.
It’s not an easy thing to show – especially when you’re faced with a seemingly negative situation or person that dampens your mood. You want to blame them for ruining your day or a particular moment, so as to shift the blame and feel better (pain avoidance). Instead, we need to show selflessness and compassion and ask the other person if they are okay, or if there is anything that you might have done to upset them. Chances are, it’s not you, and that they are battling something that caused a projection.
Humans are funny creatures. We create complications where things can be simplified. We put meaning behind things that are neutral, creating conflicts. We project negative emotions onto others because we want to offload pain. And all those things are EASIER than simplifying our lives to a state of peace, ease, and happiness.
Because of my mom’s words, I’ve always had a genuine interest in other people’s stories. I’ve learned so much about so many that when I hear someone complain about another, I let them know that all is not what it seems, and to cut the other person some slack. Having compassion isn’t just about trying to make an alternative excuse for someone else’s behavior – it’s getting to know who they are, accepting and appreciating their differences from us, and genuinely understand their position in life.
I’ve come a long way since the days of the playground, opting to choose friends who are like-minded, but accepting and understanding that everyone else has their own path in life. I’ve learned to appreciate the beauty behind our differences, using it as a tool to expand my own mind and heart.
Compassion is one of the easiest, selfless (and cheapest) things to give another. It heals souls and hearts. The more we can show compassion for each other, the happier we all will be!