Compassion is the concern for the suffering of others and ourselves. It is a wish that our fellow beings do not suffer... It has the capacity to expand itself to include our loved ones, our friends and those who we regard as our enemy or who cause us hurt. It can expand to include all living things on our planet and beyond becoming awareness itself. It is liberating. Compassion is in all of us. We need to nurture it and make it grow.
We have two wolves in our mind. They are called 'love' and 'hate'. The wolf you feed is the one that will grow in your mind. The wolf of hate narrows and reduces our world to 'us' and 'them'. If turned against oneself it leads to self-loathing and self-hatred with all its negative consequences. The wolf of love neutralises hate, reduces anger, resentment, or jealously. It is the easiest way to destroy one's enemy. Compassion is very helpful to feed the wolf of love as it makes 'them' as one of 'us'
So what makes a compassionate mind?
To me its main features are:
It has empathy (the ability to see the world through somebody else's eyes) and sympathy (the ability to commiserate with others) who are in pain or are in mental or physical suffering.
It is the first to forgive, including oneself, and the last to condemn.
It makes an effort to help achieve other's happiness.
It is non-judgmental and accepts imperfections in one's self and others.
It listens with kindness and seeks solutions, never attacking but seeking to heal.
It does not 'price' people but 'values' them as fellow beings.
Acquiring this mind state is a prize worth fighting, particularly for those who suffer from depression. You can start by praising your own efforts, accepting your failures and rewarding yourself (preferably non-alcoholic) for your achievements great and small.
Another great way is through learning to do a loving kindness meditation. One can be no more compassionate to others than you are to yourself.
A Moodscope member.