Cultivating Compassion And Empathy
Sometimes, self-care is about doing something for others. Our service often enriches us in turn, but that doesn’t make it selfish. In fact, we’re all in this together, and a strong community benefits everyone.
So, today, we’re talking about cultivating empathy and compassion. This is mainly focused on how to extend these sentiments to others. However, we’ll touch on how to use these qualities to nurture yourself as well.
Compassion And Empathy: What Are They, Really?
It was recently said by True Crime YouTube personality, Jon Chrymes, that people get empathy wrong. We’re paraphrasing, but he went on to suggest that people try to empathize with people in situations they’ve never experienced.
Instead, he suggested that we find a situation we have experienced that relates to the one at hand. Maybe you’ve never experienced racism, but you’re a woman. In this societal role, you experienced discrimination based on your sex or gender.
So, when your friend speaks about racism, you can relate their experience to your feelings when you were discriminated against. This creates empathy.
Because we achieve compassion and empathy when we relate to an experience. In Mr. Chrymes’ example, similar experiences are fair game. Exact experiences aren’t necessary.
Compassion And Empathy: Why They’re Important
It’s difficult to imagine a scenario where someone without empathy stands up for positive change on others’ behalf. Idealists and ‘true believers’ of a just cause might achieve this. However, most of us take action when we can identify with the problem.
That means empathy is a catalyst for change. Compassion creates pain that cries for solutions.
Empathy also unites people directly. We form deeper connections because of empathy. The act of extending and receiving compassion creates bonds between people.
Do you have a special kind of love for someone in your life who is always there when you need to talk? Wouldn’t you go out of your way to help them as well?
Therefore, compassion and empathy are a kind of social currency. They’re the foundation that relationships are built on.
How To Cultivate Compassion And Empathy:
You must search your soul. Within you, you find the keys to love and acceptance. You will transmute these qualities into compassion.
In addition to those abstract musings, here are some things to think about. Considering these ideas will help you feel more compassionate.
The Concept Of The One – We Are The Same
Maybe you’ve heard spiritual people talk about the concept of ‘the one.’ This is a general sense that we are all connected. Some even go further, believing that we are all extensions of one source energy.
No matter how deep you take this idea, it can be the cornerstone of the empathy and compassion you extend to the world.
I am the same as you because we are physical representations of The One.
We are the same because we are both humans with thoughts, feelings, dreams, and desires.
Both of these concepts celebrate sameness. Compassion arises from the recognition that we are more similar than different. Our differences are like seasonings while our similarities are the protein, starch, and vegetables on our plates.
Watch, Listen, And Learn
We must not close our eyes to the world around us. In order to be compassionate, we educate ourselves about injustices. In fact, we watch, listen, and learn from the people we meet every day.
Understanding is also a part of the foundation of compassion. As we experience others, we learn things about them through their words and actions. Their reactions to their own reality teach us even more.
All of this information leads to understanding. Once we know someone is affected by something, we can extend them compassion.
Respect Is Easy
Find the power in workshoping these ideas: respect is easy, kindness is my default setting.
It costs nothing to be kind. If your kindness costs you something, that’s a sign that you may need a boundary and that’s ok. You’re extending kindness to yourself as well, simultaneously. Hurt people hurt people and people who feel good, do good.
That’s why it’s important to stay healthy yourself.
It costs nothing to give respect. We can give kindness and respect freely and watch our world change.
“Would I want this done to me?”
That question is a vital equalizer.
Compassion And Empathy For Self
It’s difficult to love others when we judge ourselves. People harboring self-hatred, judgment, and general disconnection must heal themselves as well.
If you want to help the world, please do the work to accept yourself. That might mean therapy. Your journey could involve affirmations and reminders that reframe your self-talk. You might have to forgive yourself for your past or forgive your parents.
Self-acceptance looks different to different people. It usually requires ongoing work and commitment.
Whatever you are facing in your inner world, we encourage you to handle it now. It will expand your world in all directions.
Our Contribution To Equality
Our world is experiencing a wave of change. People everywhere are waking up to the reality of the inequality people of color face in America. The movement is gaining momentum and may soon include other disadvantaged populations in the spirit of unity.
Right now, however, racism and bigotry are the calls of the day and we stand in solidarity with those on the front lines of this righteous struggle.
In addition to the activism that individual Skara team members are engaged in, Skara itself is making a donation to black causes at this time. Until further notice, we are donating 25% of all purchases to Campaign Zero. This organization fights police brutality.
If you are able to give directly, encourage you to do so. If you aren’t in that position, please educate yourself and take other action. There are even fundraising videos like this one on YouTube which donate all ad revenue to organizations that support black equality.