Compassion is kindness in action. When we choose to be kind individuals, we start to build a more compassionate world as a whole. This affirmation will remind you to be kind to others and to yourself, because it’s such a necessary part of real happiness.
“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.” — Pema Chödrön
Choose to Be Kind
I choose kindness when it’s tempting to be unkind.
Be a light in the darkness when no other light shines. Be a beacon of possibility when all hope seems to be lost. Be a ray of happiness where sorrow seems to reign. Replace your judgmental tendencies with the conscious decision to be kind.
Until we accept the way things are, we cannot begin to change anything. Carl Jung said, “Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.” You can use your life to lift others up and mold the world into a better place, but this does not happen through judgment; it happens through acceptance and compassion.Be a rainbow in someone else's cloud. — Maya Angelou Click To Tweet
Kindness, generosity, and happiness require some level of trust in others. We invest ourselves in another human being because there’s a glimmer of hope that they will use what we’ve given wisely.
Of course, we will cross paths with untrustworthy people in our lifetime, but that should never be reason enough to give up on the goodness of humanity, or on the light that’s still deep in another soul (and in your own).
We all have a choice to make in any given moment. You can choose to be kind, or you can respond to the world around you with a closed heart. You can choose to forgive, or you can let resentment burn away your peace.
Trusting, hopeful, and helpful people are happy because they have chosen to live in a world where acceptance rules out judgment, where a positive belief about others is liberally employed.
Generosity and unconditional kindness also require some level of inner happiness.
When we give something away, we typically have less of that something for ourselves. True happiness is not based on material possessions or outer experiences, however, so we really have not lost anything at all. Instead, we’ve strengthened our own happiness by being kind and generous.
In this way, kindness is both a cause and effect of inner happiness.
Your decision to be kind stems from the decision to be happy, and vice versa.
Be Kind to Yourself
I can be a rainbow in someone’s cloud, even if that someone is me.
Have you considered the experience of self-compassion in your own daily life experiences? In what ways do you need to honor your wounds, respect your feelings, and be present in this moment?
Somehow, so many of us have become convinced that criticizing ourselves will lead to positive change. We may believe discouraging self-talk will encourage us to do better, to love and be loved. We might think shame is the road to compassion, but self-hatred does not lead to self-love. Only love leads to love.
Change begins with self-acceptance, not self-sabotage.If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete. — Jack Kornfield Click To Tweet
Welcome your feelings with tenderness and give them the space to unfold and share their teaching. Your feelings crave acknowledgment, not avoidance. Your suffering needs acceptance, not resistance.
Don’t avoid the truth of what’s going on inside of you, for it’s a guide and a lesson that won’t go away until it has shown you what you need to see.
Have compassion for all those unwanted parts of yourself. See them, feel them, accept them, forgive them, and rise above them. Jack Kornfield writes, “A second quality of mature spirituality is kindness. It is based on a fundamental notion of self-acceptance.”
There is nothing wrong with you, and this is a spiritual teaching that repeats itself again and again.
When you feel triggered to either distance yourself from the truth or judge a part of yourself, read this wonderful post from Gabby Bernstein about getting into the dialogue of self-compassion.
I find these words from Robert Gonzales fitting and refreshing: “Self-compassion is approaching ourselves, our inner experience with spaciousness, with the quality of allowing which has a quality of gentleness. Instead of our usual tendency to want to get over something, to fix it, to make it go away, the path of compassion is totally different. Compassion allows.”
Be the Love You Wish to See
I think, speak, and act with compassion; therefore, I am compassion.
We become what we consistently think, say, and do. Our daily habits write the story line of our lives. When we consistently choose to be kind and compassionate, we are kindness and compassion.
A meaningful life has little to do with the pile of possessions we’ve amassed or the size of our ego. Our personal lives either become miraculous or mundane based on how we choose to live daily within ourselves, and how well we enable others to live in the process.
Your choices determine the quality of your life.
Every single day, return to compassion. What are your priorities in life? What matters to you? What do you want to see in your world? What do you want to experience within yourself?
Connect to your priorities and dreams, and embody the qualities you wish to bring into the world.
Change happens one thought at a time, one choice at a time, one action at a time, and one person at a time. Inspiring positive change through kindness–no matter how minuscule or grand that transformation may seem–is a worthwhile endeavor to be pursued.
- In what big or small ways can you embody compassion today?
- What acts of kindness will you commit?
- How has showing compassion to someone else (or yourself) changed your day?
Please share your thoughts, lessons in compassion, and any inspiring stories of kindness, trust, and generosity with me in the comments.
Share this with someone who could use a little compassion today.
As you breathe in, bring in love. As you breathe out, give out love.
Free watercolor pattern by Angie Makes; lettering by Aim Happy.