Developing a Compassionate Spirit!
Every single one of us struggles with something. No one escapes suffering, no one escapes pain, no one escapes loss. Unfortunately, this world is filled with all kinds of losses: job losses, divorce, loss of relationships, and death. Loss is a part of life.
But sometimes we act as if we are the only ones that have ever suffered. We forget that the very person we may be complaining about, is also struggling with their past, their future, and their present. The very person we may be judging and resenting may feel the exact way you do towards someone else.
We begin to develop a compassionate spirit when we realize that your needs are their needs, your losses are their losses, your stresses are their stresses. We are all not so different.
Compassion literally means to"suffer together". We can begin to live with a spirit of compassion when we realize your suffering is my suffering.
We are one.
"So in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others."- Romans 12:5.
The Bible describes in Ephesians 4:1-32, this type of attitude as useful and helpful.
If we want to be able to let go of anger, bitterness, and resentment, we must develop the ability to be compassionate towards one another.
"Make every effort to keep the oneness of the Spirit in the bond of peace (each individual working together to make the whole successful.)" -Eph 4:3.
Compassion enables forgiveness and forgiveness promotes unity and love. So today, notice your judgments, your complaints, your criticisms about yourself and others. And instead of your normal tirade, imagine you are that person, and ask yourself what could they be struggling with that causes them to act the way they do?
Its often much easier to grant ourselves a pass as we understand that we do the things we do for "reasons" but we look at others and we do not think of the reasons..we just blame them for their maybe less then stellar behavior.
How much different it looks if we begin to look at it through their eyes instead. This is no easy task and requires a lot of maturity and self-reflection..but so necessary if we are trying to "be about our father's business" and if we are to heal ourselves.
Christ had great compassion for us, our weakness, our mistakes and our selfishness! We are charged to do the same for ourselves and for others. Begin today to notice where your own self-judgment lies..this will clue you into maybe where you find fault with others. Forgive yourself, have compassion for yourself, condemnation not only keeps you stuck but also those around you. As you learn to have compassion for yourself, it will become easier to have compassion for others. Compassion, love and grace are the ingredients for growth and change for all of us.