Healing and the Two Sides of Compassion

Annah Elizabeth4 Comments


Today, I am a proud part of something that is sweeping the blogosphere.
It began with one writer discussing her need, her desire for emotional and physical support her in adulthoodlamenting how that proverbial Village disappears as we transition from childhood to adolescence and then into that Grown-Up state.
One of my greatest supporters, a writer whom I’ve never met and don’t even know her name, suggested this event to me and me to the organizers.
Live by Surprise often brings me pleasant surprises like this, what first began as an expected, albeit most timely, positive comment on one of my posts.
And then another, and another, and another…
Liv, as I’ve come to think of her, is one of my village’s chiefs, a leader who seems to be everywhere, watching, encouraging, nudging, and providing a strong, silent sort of embrace, just when I need it.
Thank you, Liv.
As my crazy week has unfolded, this #1000Speak for compassion event has been in the back of my mind.
Numerous ideas have come and gone…
Now, as the time is upon me, I sit at my desk, tired, exhausted, a little bit stressed about this speech I’m going to rehearse in a few short hours and then present in front of nearly two-hundred people in two days…
My head pounded and my eyes throbbed in their sockets as I opened this file, and all I could think about was that if I didn’t get this post written, I’d be missing this window of opportunity, I’d be letting down the people who believed in me, in my ability to write about compassion, how I live compassion, and what compassion means to me.
The #1000Speak homepage lists one definition of compassion as the “sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.”
A few other thoughts they list on the subject include “kindness, love, caring, non-judgment, self-love.”
Pardon me for a second while I do a little jig because I just noticed the global date for this live event is February 20…which means the universe has just gifted me with another thirty hours to write, edit, and post this piece!
Shit…pardon my French, but I feel better already!
Okay…I’m back…a little more rested, and a little less stressed about tomorrow’s speech.
Beauty and her college roommate came in late last night to attend the speaking event. Today I treated us all to manicures. I have horribly brittle nails that are constantly splitting and tearing, so I indulged in some lengthening gel nails.
Self-love. What Pam Luttrelland I would call an act that says I Matter.
That’s the part of compassion I want to talk about today.
So many of us spend a great deal of time offering compassion to others. We offer forgiveness, understanding, patience, empathy, love.
We pardon their trespasses, accept their flaws, love without judgment, we hold space and offer hugs when times are tough.
We console, reassure, encourage, and lift up those in our lives.
And we do these things completely and with the greatest of kindnesses.
But when it comes to our self?
Too often we chastise our mistakes, loathe our faults, judge our middle-aged bellies and laugh-lines, and we pressure ourselves to be Super Human.
Counselor Hank used to call it The Hammer. “Put down the hammer, Annah,” he’d say when I wasn’t treating myself with the same courtesies I afford others.
I’ve share that analogy with so many others in an effort to encourage them to exercise personal compassion.
I have to work very hard to remember to remind myself.
But I’m getting better at it, Journeyer. You see, I’ve learned that when we don’t fill ourselves up with compassion, there is much less of it to go around.
As we visit our neighboring tribes in the coming days, please let’s remember that we, too, are a member of the village and that we deserve the same considerations and compassions we afford others…
Let us honor the I in compassion…
Until we meet again, yours in hope, healing, and happiness,
      ~AE

4 Comments on “Healing and the Two Sides of Compassion”

    1. {blushing} honored…

      The speech went great! Thanks for asking!! 🙂 About 175 people and the biggest crowd I’ve spoken in front of, so happy to be inspiring more and more neighbors. 🙂

      Haven’t had a chance to read the wonderful compassion posts, but you’re at the top of my list when I have a chance to sit down and read! Hope you’re well and warm!! xoxo

  1. I love when the universe moves like that and sudddenly the pressure to write is not quite so great. I couldn’t agree more with the fact that we need to have compassion for ourselves. The more I have “found myself” so to speak and become more and more okay with who I truly am the more I have been able to be compassionate to others.

    1. Thank you for stopping by and for leaving a comment! So happy you are able to “find yourself” and fill up on compassion! Such a beautiful gift we can give to ourselves!

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