"By compassion we make others' misery our own, and so, by relieving them, we relieve ourselves also."
- Thomas Browne, Sr.
Compassion. Its a hard thing for many people to feel. Its not something that is encouraged in our consumption obsessed, self-absorbed society. And, yet, all spiritual teachings list it as a great virtue.... the ability to feel, through love, another persons pain. No, really feel it.
Anyway, compassion comes easy for me. I cry (or tear up) at every cheesy moment in any piece of fiction. I avoid the news because my heart breaks for victims of crime (or nature), I'll forgive friends, family and acquaintances at the drop of a hat.... ("they're having a hard day"). What I can't ever seem to do is extend that same courtesy to myself.
I mean, how does that work? How can you feel compassion for (nearly) everyone in the world and NOT for yourself?
And then I realized.... If I forgive myself, then maybe I'll have to go easy on myself, and maybe I won't be who-I-am anymore. (as if that makes any sense, I know)
Its almost like I'm afraid to be nice to myself.
So, now I know, I should be willing to show myself the same amount of compassion that I extend to others, but.... I don't know how. And usually, if I'm stuck on something, I start at the beginning. But, the beginning is 30 years ago and, not having access to a time machine, I suppose I'll have to start from now. But I always feel so silly when I give myself a hug...
How do you show yourself compassion? Which comes easier to you, compassion for others, or for yourself?