The incredible, dynamic nature of compassion
Compassion is extraordinary. The transforming effect it can have is so powerful that it can change an individual for the better for the rest of his or her life.
Compassion has the power to change because it is dynamic. It releases something within us and unleashes energy that alters our perceptions and the way we think. It breaks down blockages of energy in our system and brings a sense of fulfilment that nothing else quite equals. We sometimes talk about the amazing energy of love; compassion takes that a step further.
Why wise compassion brings joy and completeness
In essence, we are not separate from anything or anyone else. At the deepest level, there is no “else”. As we move a little closer to realising that in life, barriers and prejudices in our thinking and in our communications begin to dissolve. As they do, we feel more complete.
What is compassion? It is a loving, deep awareness of the needs of others. More than that, it is coupled with a spontaneous desire to remove others’ suffering. It is an attitude of total selflessness, yet it brings immense benefits.
Four reasons we need compassion
- Compassion liberates us. It gives us freedom because we have to let go of self-interest. In energy terms, that means we let go of all clinging or grasping and as we do that our energy channels become more open. We release mental and emotional tension and consequently physical tension, too. We feel freer in ourselves because we focus less on our own problems or what we perceive as our problems. As we do that, they fall into perspective and shrink in importance.
- Compassion helps us in our relationships because we become less concerned with what we want out of them. The same principle applies whether it is a close, personal relationship or a business one, for example. Outwardly, our behaviour may not change very much. The important thing is our attitude. Our view of the relationship will be easier and often the other person will sense we are easier with them. Sometimes we may see a difficult relationship in a different light. For example, we may have been straining to be liked and discover we can let go.
- Compassion can benefit our health. Both physical and mental health will tend to improve as we let go and start to give of ourselves more easily. The brain produces more endorphins and so we feel happier. As a result, the immune system tends to be stronger and the quality of life improves. The prospects of life being shortened by stress are much reduced. We could say, therefore, that compassion is good for health, for quality of life and for longevity!
- Compassion develops the heart energy centre. The heart centre or chakra unfolds as we develop our spiritual qualities. As it does so, energy to the other chakras in a very natural and safe way. Those who try to “open their chakras” by artificial means are often being misled by those who really ought to know better. Artificially trying to force our energy centres to open rarely works satisfactorily. It is always safe to work with the heart centre by developing the qualities of love and compassion. The results are strong and stable.
Compassion needs wisdom, too
These wonderful results come from wise compassion. Being compassionate does not mean being soft or being a do-gooder. A truly compassionate person is strong, stronger than most in fact, and is not easily manipulated. The compassionate person can say no when necessary. He or she doesn’t have a hidden agenda which demands that they need to please the other person. True compassion requires honesty and truthfulness. That doesn’t mean we have to be blunt. If to tell someone the truth is going to them pain, the compassionate person will strive to reduce that hurt to a minimum and will know not to say anything at all if it isn’t necessary.
To know which is right takes wisdom and wisdom comes from being in touch with our own nature. This doesn’t happen overnight. Developing true wisdom and compassion is a task for life. But every step on the way brings us closer to completeness and being a better, and more useful, human being.
From The Secret Power of Compassion, chapter 7 of The Great Little Book of Happiness
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