“All I know is that my life is better when I assume people are doing their best.” ~Brené Brown
It’s so easy to assume the worst of others, and the self-righteous anger in that moment can be an addicting high. But life is so much better when we assume that others are doing their best and move toward compassion instead when we see that they don’t have the resources to do better.
“Compassion is the radicalism of our time.” ~The 14th Dalai Lama
How far does your compassion extend? To yourself? Your loved ones? Other like you? Strangers? Animals? The earth?
How radical are you?
“The point is that our true nature is not some ideal that we have to live up to. It’s who we are right now, and that’s what we can make friends with and celebrate.” ~Pema Chödrön, from Awakening Loving-Kindness
Learning self-compassion is not about trying to make ourselves into something “better.” It’s about learning to love and appreciate who we are right now.
“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.” ~Pema Chödrön
True compassion requires that we be present with all of people, including their darkness, which often shows itself most strongly when they are afraid and in pain. To do that, we must get to know our own darkness and develop compassion for that part of ourselves first. It’s the hardest kind of compassion to develop, but it’s one of the gifts available to us through kintsugi living.
“Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom.” ~Rumi
Keeping my heart open in the face of grief is a challenge, but when I’ve been able to do it, the resulting growth has always been worth it. It truly can turn pain into an ally (albeit an unpleasant and unwelcome one) rather than an enemy.
How do you keep your heart open even in the face of grief?