There’s a missing ingredient in most healing methods today, and it’s not what you first assume.
It’s not better insurance, more advanced technology, new drugs, more testing, or early detection…
The ingredient is going to sound so simple and low-tech (actually it’s no-tech) that you may be tempted to discount it.
The missing ingredient is compassion.
Compassion, even on its own, can heal.
It’s not news that the US is in a health crisis.
We’re obese, we eat horrible food, we consume 80% of the world’s pain medicines (in spite of being only 4.4% of the population), fertility rates are plummeting, and on and on and on.
Oh, and we’re unhappy and dissatisfied.
Wow, it’s a downer just typing all those things.
Our souls and our bodies are craving something that isn’t being provided, and that thing is compassion.
We berate ourselves with negative self talk.
Popular media sets an impossible standard.
Many of us didn’t grow up in compassionate households.
At the end of the day we’re aching for compassion.
Just like you don’t have an awareness that your body is deficient in a specific vitamin, there’s no alarm that goes off to tell you you’re running dangerously low on compassion.
But we see and feel the symptoms. I’m not just talking about mental health either. Your physical pain and physical health problems are also a manifestation of a lack of compassion.
Even organic diseases can have their roots in our thoughts and emotions.
“A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal” — Steve Maraboli
Let’s understand exactly what compassion is and what it isn’t.
Compassion isn’t the same as sympathy.
Sympathy involves a “poor you” or “poor me” attitude. That bolsters a sense of victimhood, and that’s never helpful.
Compassion is non-judgement. It’s understanding. It’s pure love regardless of the story.
Compassion isn’t an excuse to misbehave or do whatever the hell you want.
Compassion is tenderness, understanding, kindness, love, warmth, benevolence, and empathy.
When you adopt compassion for yourself, healing happens.
Hold yourself in your thought the way a loving parent would. Maybe it’s the loving parent you needed but didn’t have.
You step in now and be that source of love and compassion for yourself. Protect and defend yourself from the voice of inner judgement.
You’ve been through some hard times and you survived. You managed the best you were equipped to at the time.
Hold yourself in compassion every day. Especially if you have any sort of nagging trouble with your wellbeing. If that’s the case, do it multiple times a day.
Spend a few minutes bathed in compassion before you fall asleep at night and again as soon as you wake up in the morning.
Do it for a few seconds each time you transition from one task to the next during your day.
“Our sorrows and wounds are healed only when we touch them with compassion.” Jack Kornfield
Grow your inner compassion muscles by extending compassion to others.
It’s so darn easy to make judgments about other people’s lives and problems, but you have no idea of the path that brought them to where they are today.
Extend compassion to others every single day. Everything we give forth returns to us multiplied.
When we show others compassion we’re going to receive more compassion in return, and we’ll learn to be more compassionate with ourselves.
Remember, compassion isn’t excuse making, labeling, or accepting abusive behavior.
Compassion is seeing the person for who they are at their core: rays of divine light, just like you and just like me.
“Instead of putting others in their place, put yourself in their place.” — Amish proverb
Try this for three weeks:
Spend a few minutes each morning and evening holding yourself in the thought of compassion.
Do the same thing a few times a day, even for just a few seconds.
You’ll discover for yourself some pretty desirable side effects like more inner peace, more joy, better sleep, more stamina, lower blood pressure, fewer aches and pains, and even measurable improvements in disease and disability.
Do this for three weeks, then please share with me below how your health and wellbeing improved.
This article will help you exercise self compassion.
All my best to you!
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Originally published at Change Your Mind Change Your Life on Medium.com