Why Compassion is Super Sexy
Why Compassion is Super Sexy
By Ayelet Shimron
What is Compassion?
Compassion is a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.
Compassion is giving a shit about other human beings… on a deep and connective level.
Compassion is allowing yourself to FEEL what others are feeling. Okay, you might be thinking to yourself, “what if I haven’t experienced what that person is going through? How can I possibly feel what they are feeling?”
True, everyone’s experience is subjective and relative to their own personal life… but compassion is about MAKING AN ATTEMPT to understand. It’s about creating a true connection with another person on a human level.
Whether that means giving another person your full undivided attention when they open up to you, or making eye contact to show you’re engaged, or through a simple act of hugging another person who could use a hug… Compassion opens up a portal inside you as the giver, that when you offer it unconditionally, just through that simple act of giving you end up receiving.
Let me prove it…
Why be Compassionate?
- Reason 1: Compassion is Contagious
- Ever wake up on the wrong side of the bed in the morning only to find yourself in one lousy situation after another? You’ve pressed snooze on your alarm and managed to make yourself late for work, followed by stepping out of bed and stubbing your toe on your bed frame. Then you make your daily cup of morning coffee, only to spill it all over your blouse, forcing you to go back and change your entire outfit… making you even later for work than you were in the first place. You get in your car and low and behold, that old piece of shit doesn’t want to start. So your bougie ass settles with taking public transportation.
- It’s just one of those mornings that seem like the universe is conspiring against you… UNTIL… you get to your office and you’re greeted by a warm and welcoming smile. Martha at the front desk offers her warm greeting followed by “Gee, you look like you’ve lost weight, have you been working out?”
- This small act of compassion instantly causes you to forget about all your misfortunes of the morning and you decide to pay it forward by offering others a simple smile to brighten their day.
- My point: Compassion is contagious and the more you offer compassion to others the cycle of compassion naturally takes place and you receive it in return 10-fold.
- Reason 2: Compassion transforms painful experiences into blessings
- Let me explain…
- When you allow compassion to overcome your entire being, to the point where every act of kindness and every act of service becomes one that emmenates compassion, you become able to turn your own painful experiences into blessings.
- For example… A friend of mine was telling me about his relationship with his father. It was mentioned that the relationship was estranged and the connection of a father son dynamic was not good. At first this made him feel upset, sad, and almost abandoned. However, when we recently spoke about this situation he was able to turn the painful experience into one of pure compassion towards his own father. He told me that if his relationship was not of this nature with his father he would not be the way he is today. Feeling blessed for the situations and struggles of wanting the relationship to be a certain way but understanding that it had to be this way, and couldn’t be happier that it is! Being compassionate towards his own situation made him see his life as a blessing.
- Reason 3: Compassion opens our hearts
- You don’t have to wait until you’re deathly ill to open your heart.
- Example: My best friend recently lost her father and one question I felt impelled to ask her was, “do you feel complete? Do you feel like you did and said everything you needed to say before he passed? Or are there any lose ends that you never had the opportunity to tie back together?” That’s when I began to see her eyes well up and tears start to form, as she responded, “I wish I showed him more compassion.”
We live in a competitive world. A world in which success and disaster are what is most often emphasized. Somehow, this brings forth the misconception that having compassion for others is either a waste of time or a sign of weakness. Or we see compassion as something only the rich, powerful and famous have the time or the means to do.
How wrong is that? Compassion is simple, profound and can thrive in every one of us. Compassion connects us to our own humanity and that of others. It can be expressed in a smile or a hug.
Compassion is letting someone else feel understood when they are conflicted. Compassion is loving someone when they are deeply distressed. It is putting your arms around someone else so they feel safe.
Every day we have an opportunity to change someone’s life by paying attention to their needs. Every day someone else has the opportunity to change our lives for the same reason. Compassion does not have to be grandiose. It can be a simple act or gesture which carries the power to connect and transform.
Tap into your compassion for yourself and others. I assure you, it will transform you.