Living the compassionate life creates meaning and researchers have found that living a meaningful life is one of the greatest determinants of happiness. I’ll subscribe to that.
Acts of Kindness
I’ve personally experienced in my life that acts of kindness return to me ten-fold. Each action I take is ultimately multiplied and returned to me. I can control my fate through the actions I choose to take. I am determined to be in control of my future, so I choose my actions carefully.
Consequently, I look for different ways to be kind each day. A simple compliment, holding a door open, or helping a stranger in some small way are all actions that enhance my life dramatically.
However, on those rare days I choose to be unkind to someone, I suffer the consequences. Negative actions come back to bite me and serve as a reminder of the importance of being a source of kindness and compassion.
Kindness is the natural way for me now. It simply feels right. I am being my best self when I choose to be kind.
Today, I allow all the kindness in my heart to be demonstrated through my actions. I know that the intention I have today invariably comes back to me in a larger form in the future. I encourage you to also choose kindness and compassion as your goals today.
Compassion vs Compromise
There are those who submit that compassion is the most important life skill. Particularly, we were made to live in community and in relationship with one another. Hence, it is never too late for us to make a positive difference in the world.
We simply start by thinking of others first.
However, when there’s a concept which you truly believe in, there may be others around you coercing you to side with them. Please don’t confuse compassion with compromise.
Compassion is demonstrating understanding. But it never means going against the conviction within your heart, which you believe to be true. Sometimes you are challenged to stand in your truth. That requires you to make the decision not to ever compromise what you believe is the right choice.
Living the compassionate life requires that you employ pure wisdom, wearing it as a necklace around your neck. The right choice will always come when you feel through your heart with love. Work on recognizing your own inner guidance.
Time to Stop Compromising
Every day we are caught in a daily struggle between our flesh and mind, which results in less than ideal outcomes. Surely, it’s not always easy when we try to make decisions that will change our lives and make us better.
We are usually hit with questions such as:
- Do I visit the gym today or stay indoors?
- Do I blend a green smoothie or enjoy a refreshing soda pop for lunch?
- Should I grab a cigarette or attempt to quit smoking?
- Should I continue in this abusive relationship or should I set myself free?
- Do I pick up my book and study or do I play some more video games?
- Do I stick with my daily bible reading schedule or do I go to sleep?
- Should I enroll in the Online Business Class or hang out with the guys?
These are just a few random questions that show up in our lives daily to test our resolve. Oftentimes, we find ourselves compromising with our flesh and taking the easy way out, which is not usually the right way.
We then begin to say things like:
- I’ll work out tomorrow, I seriously need a quick nap.
- A salad sure sounds nice but I’m really enjoying this cheeseburger now.
- Well, my dad used to smoke and he hasn’t kicked the bucket yet.
- I’ll give him one more chance, I know my sweetheart will change.
- Nobody makes money from reading books. Playing video games is more fun.
- I’m sleepy now. I know Jesus understands I’ll read my bible in the morning.
- I can always continue my education but this is NBA Playoff’s season.
It’s time to stop compromising!
Driven by Compassion
We not only compromise with ourselves but also with others, allowing ourselves to be hurt, time and time again. Please stop compromising and finally decide to create a legacy that could outlive you.
A life filled with self-compassion and love, not just for others but for ourselves. A life driven by compassion not compromise.
What Is Self-Compassion?
“Compassion is sensitivity to the suffering of self and others and a commitment to do something about it” states Paul Gilbert, a researcher at Kingsway Hospital in the United Kingdom.
Self-compassion, as defined by Professor Kristin Neff (University of Texas at Austin) in her academic literature, has three aspects: mindfulness, common humanity and kindness.
- Mindfulness is holding your own thoughts and feelings rather than suppressing or being carried away by them.
- Common humanity, in part, is the understanding that your feelings and experiences are not completely unique. All humans go through hardships and face daily pains or struggles.
- Being kind to yourself is not only providing comfort in the moment; it is also committing, whenever possible, to reducing future instances of such suffering.
Why Is Compassion Important in Life?
Continuous research into self-compassion has shown its benefits for well-being. Individuals who are more self-compassionate tend to have greater happiness, life satisfaction and motivation, better relationships and physical health, and less anxiety and depression.
Compassion builds strength. It is much easier to spit in an enemy’s face than offer a hand up. True strength, is gentle and fair. Showing mercy is a sign of strength.
Living a compassionate life helps to shore up your resilience needed to cope with stressful events such as divorce, health crises, academic failure, and even combat trauma.
A single act of compassion can change a person’s life forever. Hence, compassion is the most powerful force in the world.
We each have an endless supply of compassion, and it costs us nothing to share it. Compassion is the bond that unites all of humanity. We can create a significant difference in the world simply by performing one simple act of compassion after another.
Compassion is the greatest gift one human being can share with another.
Compassion gives us the ability to understand someone else’s situation and the desire to take action to improve their lives. We become better versions of ourselves when we live a compassionate lifestyle. We increase our resourcefulness, become more dependable and make better choices overall.
Personally, when we are mindful of our struggles, and respond to ourselves with compassion, kindness, and support in times of difficulty, things start to change. We can learn to embrace ourselves and our lives, despite inner and outer imperfections, and provide ourselves with the strength needed to thrive.
The key to developing compassion in your life is to make it a daily practice.
Living the Compassionate Life
Compassion involves more than putting yourself in another’s place. The definition of compassion is the ability to understand the emotional state of another person or oneself. Often confused with empathy, compassion has the added element of having a desire to alleviate or reduce the suffering of another.
Living a compassionate lifestyle is all about being good, kind, and showing love to members of society. It is showing sympathy to the unfortunate situations of others.
Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek.” ~ Dalai Lama
Jesus is the greatest example you could look up to in living a compassionate life. Compassion is passion that is aimed at setting people free.
Every time Jesus had compassion, He was about to fix something. If people were hungry, He had compassion and fed them. If they were “like sheep without a shepherd” (Matt. 9:36), He had compassion and said, ―I am the Good Shepherd; I’ll lead you. (See John 10:11–15.)
To show compassion means to apply one’s strength to meet people’s needs. Perhaps His greatest act of compassion was when He died on the cross for our sins.
At the cross on Calvary where he was nailed, Jesus performed His last act of compassion here on earth. The bible tells us that two thieves were hung on either side of Him.
One of the criminals hurled insults and asked Him to save Himself and them from the cross, if he were truly the Son of God. The other thief quickly rebuked him and asked him to fear God, saying that Jesus was truly the son of God. He then pleaded for mercy for his sins and Jesus answered: “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43). This is true compassion, which the Master displayed.
Mindfulness and self-compassion are resources that give us the safety needed to meet difficult experience with less resistance.
A real man exercises compassion, mercy, and justice. Through them, he shows true strength and brings the kingdom of God to others.
Therefore, in everything you do, show compassion. Not only towards others but include yourself. I challenge you to make a conscious decision right now to be driven by compassion not compromise.
The Benefits of Compassion
Being compassionate towards others results in many health benefits for both parties. Compassion improves your health by strengthening your immune system, normalizing your blood pressure, lowering your stress and depression, improving your physical recovery from illness, and even extending your life. (Source: 9 Powerful Benefits of Compassion by Leigh Tremaine)
Those who display more compassion develop better self-awareness and are more mindful of themselves in a multitude of situations. Compassion enables you to understand yourself and others more as you seek to relieve suffering.
Acting compassionately also grows and strengthens social relationships. This can result in more active engagement and open communication between parties.
Persons who practice compassionate behavior and create meaningful connections with others have been shown to increase resiliency to disease and may even result in longer lifespans.
With regard to self-compassion, studies have found that being kind to yourself results in lower levels of mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety.
Creating the Life You Love
Creating the life you want to live is perfectly within your reach! By truly embracing yourself, you’re able to approach life with excitement and gratitude.
There are perhaps six actions you can apply to your life to develop self-compassion and live fully creating the life you love. They will also increase your feelings of self-love and self-worth.
- Do you want to free yourself from old tensions and dive into your life without fear?
- How can you increase positivity in all areas of your life?
- Do you want to come to a place of deep self-acceptance and self-compassion?
- How do you develop self-compassion?
By practicing these new habits, you will create more gratitude for your life. You will find yourself reaching for and successfully living a compassionate life. Download the FREE Checklist to get started.
- What can I do today to be kind to someone I have never been kind to before?
- If I were kinder, how would that change my life over time?
- Who is the kindest person to me? How do I treat that person in return?
What other ways do you display compassion in your life? Share in the comments below.