Compassion: the wish to see others free from suffering
How can we be compassionate to someone who is not compassionate towards us. When we are talking with or listening to them holistically, try to take in their body language, their emotions and what they imply and try to understand them using more than only the words that they are saying. Listen to their tone, observe their body language, listen for their implications. This way we will be able to understand where they are coming from and while we might not agree with them there is the possibility offered of common ground. Don’t let the phone or text messages distract you from being fully present in the conversation, and thereby offering respect to the other person.
if you are in the grocery do you find yourself rushing to get to the checkout before other people? maybe they have an honest reason for rushing and need to get somewhere. Try letting someone go before you. Maybe you can even make up a reason for them in your mind. They must be rushing to take care of their grandmother. In traffic, if someone puts on their blinker to move in front of you because they failed to anticipate needing to get over to turn or exit, assure yourself that you have been in that position before as well and someone who was kind enough to let you in made your day brighter. Look for opportunities to be compassionate and you will start to see more and more of them.
This week let us set the intention to listen to our bodies during yoga and see what it can do and it cannot do. This is practicing compassion on ourselves. We can take these lessons of self-compassion and then take this intention off the mat into our lives we can try and listen to other people. Try to be more aware of them and feel what they are capable of doing and what they are not. We are all in different places in life and maybe someone is not ready to do something yet but if you offer them a way to grow in a compassionate way, they might take you up on it and embrace something that is new to them. You are not forcing them to grow, nor are you leading them, but you are fostering an environment where they feel like they can grow and in that you are growing together.
HH the Dalai Lama said: If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.