Cultivating compassion

“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.” – Uknown

With the divisiveness our communities are faced with today, it seems that true compassion has become the fundamental revolution we all need. And though compassion towards others is an essential part of that, it seems that we often overlook the importance of first and foremost cultivating that compassion towards ourselves.

As we judge ourselves, criticize ourselves and condemn ourselves, knowingly or unknowingly. Often times this kind of inner dialogue has become so normal, so engraved in our being that we might not even truly be aware of how little compassion we have towards ourselves. We don’t realize that it is virtually impossible to extend this compassion to something or someone outside ourselves if we don’t have it within, to begin with.

Only when we have that awareness, softness, and compassion of and for our own inner darkness and turmoil, can we ever truly and authentically extend that same love and understanding to those around us. Only then can we truly recognize our shared humanity. So as with everything, as always, it starts with a shift and change within ourselves first.

A big part of cultivating compassion towards ourselves and others seems to be the ability to recognize our judgments, not just towards ourselves but also towards others. When we have not acknowledged our own inner darkness and hurt, when we have not yet had this compassion towards ourselves, we will inevitably start to project this onto others in the form of judgment, which in turn overshadows our ability to be compassionate towards others and continues this cycle.

Cultivating that compassion starts first and foremost with ourselves. There’s an immense amount of truth to the saying “be the change you want to see in the world”. Finding the courage to witness our own hurt, refraining from judging ourselves as we find that true compassion for our own shadow, and from there cultivating that authentic support for those around is. Whether it’s a physical act of compassion or an energy shift, ultimately it will all make the difference we so  desperately need…

Love & Light,

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