Probably the most valuable lesson my life has taught me is the power of compassion and the gold mine that the ability to empathise bestows on the giver – also the reason I was a good Paramedic for 10 years but also why I had to give it away. A a result of Facebook I have made many friends from all over the world, and one of the resounding messages I have been receiving from my muslim friends is that we western people do not understand their religion. So only recently I have been partaking in private lessons on the Quran, with my friend Zied, from Tunisia – a country on the north-east coast of Africa. I feel that I cannot understand the Middle Eastern crisis without also understanding the belief systems of those involved, on both sides. Religion should never be the cause of prejudice, but nor should the lack of religious beliefs. We are each after all responsible for the journey and destinations of our own souls. Live and let live. So within my blog space I would also like to explore the power of compassion. I have much to learn. As my friend Zied says, ‘It is my duty’.
Deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it. (Web dictionary)
The ability to feel and express empathy and compassion are the mark of emotional intelligence. They are skills that must be worked on daily and practiced at every opportunity, for it is through compassion that you find the true heart of yourself. Compassion must start with yourself – if you can’t witness your own suffering, and wish to relieve it how can you for another.
Compassion is a birth right, we are all born knowing how to feel for ourselves and each other. It is the suffering we experience in life that blinds us of our ability to empathise. In the long run, the person that really misses out is you.
Compassion is a gift that gives to both the giver and the receiver. The more you have suffered in life and experienced your own bad times, the greater your ability to understand the suffering of another. The more emotional freedom you allow yourself to release negative emotion and give it a voice, the greater your ability to love and understand the same in your loved ones and humanity in general.
This is why compassion has to start with you, for you.