Compassion is very simple to me. To show someone compassion is to focus your attention and loving intent towards them. When a person is right in front of you or you are talking with them by posting a comment on their blog, they are the most important person.
Buddhism teaches that the most important time is NOW. And the most important person is THE PERSON RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU. Now I would have to take exception to that if the person right in front of you were mean to you in any way.
But to show compassion is to fully focus your attention on that one person right in front of you. The other people you care about are not there at that moment. No other people are there at that moment. You are fully prioritizing that one person you are listening to and responding to.
Listening is done with the heart. The ears can pick up the sounds and the brain can translate the sounds into words, This is all very mechanical.
To really hear someone and feel what they are feeling, you have to listen with your heart. You cannot listen from a place of judgement or previous suppositions. You cannot decide how they should feel or where they are coming from.
A person feels how they feel. Their background is unique and their personality is unique. Their entire perspective on the world and their reality is unique. To understand , you need to suspend your reality for a few moments and enter into theirs.
If you can see things from the person’s reality, then you can begin to have true compassion for them. You do not always have to say anything much. Sometimes a simple, “I understand that you feel that way.” can be extremely validating and healing.
“I understand that you feel that way” allows for the person to feel that their feelings matter and have been heard. Too often I hear people say “Don’t say that” ,,or “You don’t really mean that”,,,or “Just cheer up, just smile, shake it off,,”
A person first needs to feel what they feel and be acknowledged for it. Then they can go on to seeing it from a rational point of view or problem solving.
Advice like “Just be happy” or “be in the moment” is not helpful in itself. You need to “be in the moment” with the person in order to be able to even begin to understand what you can say that would be helpful to them.
You also need to ask “What would be helpful for you, that I can do or say?” This puts the ball in their court, rather than you dominating and telling them what is good for them. You do not really know what they need, only they know in their heart. Ask them.
Blessings, and much love,