Today, more than ever, it is becoming clear that women will change the world. Why? Because they feel compassion in a way that men don’t and compassion is the key to changing the world.
Political differences, mass shootings, devastating forest fires and just the general slog of living in the modern world has made the need for compassion even more important.
What is compassion and why do we need it?
Dictionary.com defines compassion as an emotional reaction to witnessing another’s suffering, coupled with the desire to help the person who is in pain.
In this day and age, when people are suffering on both a global and personal level, having someone reach out a hand to help can truly make the difference between life and death.
That’s how important it is.
So, what kind of woman is naturally compassionate?
Women who are compassionate are, more often than not, women who have struggled with hardship themselves. Who have gone through hell and back and survived.
Why? Because women who have suffered truly understand the suffering of others. Truly, right down to their bones, because they have suffered themselves.
I have a client whose husband left her years ago and her struggle to survive that abandonment was profound. She made it though, after a lot of pain and hard work. And now she is involved with a man who is at the last stages of his divorce from his wife of many years. It is taking a while because his wife doesn’t want the divorce.
Her friends ask her if she is angry that the divorce isn’t moving forward but she isn’t. She has nothing but compassion for this woman because she knows exactly what she is going through. She also knows that she survived it and that this woman will too.
Women who are compassionate, more often than not, have self-compassion.
Why? Because how can someone treat someone compassionately if they have no idea how to treat themselves so?
Instead of mercilessly judging and criticizing themselves for their shortcomings, women with self-compassion are kind and understanding to themselves when confronted with personal failings. They understand that they are just like other people, working hard to be the best person that they can be in spite of sometimes insurmountable odds.
Once a person can be truly aware of the humanness of themselves they can more easily recognize and empathize the suffering of another.
After my divorce I self-flagellated constantly. I felt that I was completely at fault for the demise of my marriage and was happy to bear that cross daily. As a result, I was super angry at my ex for leaving me. I resented his new happiness with his new wife and celebrated when his life took a downturn.
In recent years I have come to see that there were two people in that relationship and that we both had blame to share. As I have forgiven myself for my failure in my marriage, I have been more able to have compassion for my ex-husbands actions, to see how his unhappiness led to him making the choice that he did and accepting that it was all for the best.
I know that, without my self-compassion, my ex-husband and I, and our kids, wouldn’t be in the good place that we are today.
Women who are compassionate are people who are mindful. Women who are mindful are living in the minute, paying attention to those around them and willing to take action when necessary.
How can someone whose head is down, focused on their phone, even notice someone who is suffering? How can someone who is always looking ahead to what is next reach out and help someone who needs them in the minute? How can someone who notices, but doesn’t take action, make the difference in life of someone who needs them?
How about you? When was the last time you looked up from your phone and saw someone suffering? What did you do? Did you quickly look back down at your phone, hoping someone else would help, or did you step up and take action to help that person in need?
Keep your head up. And take action when necessary.
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