“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”
“What you Perceive is what you will be” Steve Hyne
One dictionary defines Perceive as “to attain awareness or understanding of ” and “to regard as being such”. Language concepts throughout history and today continue to shift in perception of society common view points and of the observer knowledge. If I asked the question what is love? Im sure you could find many ideas to explain the word. Emotions and feelings is a very individual experience from personal histories of experiences and sensations. The idea of what compassion is and what it means to you is a very personal experience. For example you may never of needed it or not aware of healing power of the emotion. Or on the contrary, individuals filled every need of yours through a traumatic experience.
Compassion is best gift you could you could ever give to those who need it especially in times of difficulty and distress. Understanding compassion is a remarkable source of joy for the giver and receiver as Dalai Lama says in his teachings. Im not a Buddhist but have much respect for their teachings about compassion.
I see time and again friends being compassionate to others but not showing compassion to themselves. In future post I will show how to be compassionate to yourself. This is the first step in understanding compassion because of seeing how it can change your thinking and actions on how you treat yourself. For example we carry many inner judgments passed down through the words of communication. Today a client said he was being lazy because he slept in bed. Yesterday on a therapy course it mentioned the idea of being lazy as people concepts. According to one dictionary it means “disinclined to activity or exertion : not energetic or vigorous”. I mentioned to my client who is semi retired “Look at nature would you say its lazy when the animals and plants are resting during the winter season for several months” I went on to say “it is preparing itself for spring with a lot of activity that will benefit us”.
Our concepts of black and white ideas have been genetically transmitted down through the centuries since industrial revolution especially on being lazy. It has been propagated by other mediums in religious and cultural systems. Even God took a day off on the sabbath , so if he can be lazy so why can’t we . I am not a Christian but respect many of the teachings that furnish the ideas of love and compassion. This is one of my struggles through my life as I am prone to be a workaholic.
In summary the personal tree of compassion is a good start to see what you think it is. Write down what you would like someone do and say in a most challenging event if it happened in your life. Meditating on what you perceive compassion is will be the cycle of love that will return when you need it. The tree of compassion I have done is just a few ideas of what compassion means to me. I will put a blank tree below so you can do your own tree.